Tag Archives: believers

Go Deep Right Where You Are: Come Matter Here (Book Review)

Come Matter Here by Hannah Brencher brings us an important message: “Be where your feet are.” Stay, go deep with others and make a difference where you are.

We often tend toward spending our lives waiting for the next big thing, that call to a certain place or event in our lives. So few stay put and make a difference right where they are.

We can’t all go to the big ministry organization or other countries, and that’s okay because the place is not the point. Some of us have to stay and reach those around us right here, to build God’s Kingdom right where we are. Whether a small town or the big city, a tiny church or just our family, these people matter just as much. Continue reading

Results and Relationship: It’s Time to Abide

Recently I have embarked on another level of spiritual growth on the issue of being versus doing. God has shown me how often I was grading my relationship with Him based on how I feel or what I accomplish. Likewise, I have realized the Body of Christ as a whole tends to struggle with this issue.

As Christians we often declare that life with God is about relationship not religion. But we have often replaced relationship with another form of activity, one of seeking for results. Religion’s traditions, rituals and rules have been replaced with a striving to produce and see results.

In our quiet times with God, we often grade ourselves. Did we feel His presence tangibly, did we accomplish a lot in prayer or studying the Word? Often we do not even recognize we are viewing our time based on what we feel or accomplish ourselves.

We may even try Christian self-help strategies hoping for more answers to prayer. Yet life with God is primarily about friendship with Him, not getting our prayers answered. Prayers come as the fruit of that loving relationship.

In our congregations, we tend to base a successful outreach on how many people were saved or healed. Sometimes we even go after marketing strategies in attempts to get more results. But human methods will eventually fade.

At times we even view small churches as less than, or having something wrong. Nonetheless,  numbers and results we see are not necessarily an indicator of God’s approval or lack thereof.

God loves us before we accomplish anything. He is a God of relationship and love, not performance. Before Jesus had done any ministry, the Father’s declaration over Him was that He was well-pleased (Mark 1:11).

Numbers and results are not necessarily an indicator of God’s approval or the lack thereof. God loves us before we accomplish anything. He is a God of relationship and love, not performance.

It’s time for a 180. In John 15, Jesus said we would bear fruit (results) if we abide in Him (relationship). Only if we abide.

The Lord wants good fruit in our lives, but it cannot come unless we cultivate an ever deepening companionship with Him. And the fruit that comes through this friendship will alone be lasting.

This is the relationship Jesus opened up to us through His sacrifice on the Cross. This is the relationship we want others to enter into through our outreach. How can we tell them of their own need for relationship with the Creator if we ourselves are not truly pursuing it?

Abide in Christ, then fruit will come. Without abiding in Christ, we cannot truly know the heart of the King whose Kingdom we represent. Without abiding, we cannot rightly display the great love which He has for others.

May we set our hearts on knowing Jesus. We do not want to be hindered by our desire for results or to prove we are doing enough. May it be that we come to the place of knowing we are loved by God and rest in this truth.

As we love and obey the Father’s leadership, we can trust Him with the results. Let us choose to take Jesus at His Word, which He still proclaims to us today:

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4 (NKJV)

There Is More to Worship

There is greater meaning to living a life of worship than singing or meeting once in a while at a gathering. There is so much more to worship. We are called to exalt Jesus not simply through a word spoken or a song sung, but by the giving of our lives.

We are called to be devoted to the Lord as living sacrifices, pure and holy. This is a part of true worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).

“I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all…] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable…service and spiritual worship.”
(Romans 12:1 AMPC, emphasis added)

Making a decisive dedication is a lifetime choice of our free will. It is the devotion of all that we are and all that we have to the Lord. Thankfully, He first pours out His love upon us so that we long to do this because of love for Him. Every bridge is burned, every idol cast down. It is never looking back as we surrender our hearts and lives to our Bridegroom King.

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A Time to Pray: Season of Intercession

The Word of God speaks of a time and season for everything under Heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Prayer is to be a constant in our lives as believers, but in this season, a specific call to prayer and fasting for revival and awakening has been released across the Body of Christ.

The Lord is calling us to a season of fasting and prayer for His redemptive purposes: That whosoever would come, be saved, revived, and set free.

Beloved reader, I also want to invite you to actively take part in this season of prayer.

God longs to do above all we could ask or imagine as we pray His purposes, seek His face, and follow His ways. Our nation is in great need of God. Likewise, the Church is in need of reawakening to intimate relationship with Jesus unto doing the greater works of the Kingdom.

The latter is especially crucial to the coming of the promised Harvest.

Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21 AMP, emphasis added)

We have not because we ask not; at times, we also have not because the answers only come when we pray God’s desires instead of our own (James 4:2-3). As we seek to hear His still small voice, we will know more readily what to pray. Let’s join our hearts together with God’s, praying His redemptive plans and asking Him to do what He longs to do.

Our intercession is treasured by Heaven as we pray in agreement with the Father’s heart: On earth as it is in Heaven.

Call to Action: Make Time to Pray

In order to be productive in prayer, we must first set aside regular times to do so.

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In the Waiting: Unanswered Prayer & Unfulfilled Dreams

When we come face to face with our unanswered prayers, wondering why God does not answer our prayers quickly enough, we cannot give up or get into self-pity. Nor can we build a mindset around trying to figure out how to get our prayers answered faster or how we can fulfill our God-given dreams and destiny.

We may be tempted to repent of this or sow money to that, thinking this will bring our desired outcome. Other times we strive and strive to be the perfect Christian, thinking our prayers are not answered because we have done something wrong. These are good things, but God doesn’t want our performance or perfection; He wants our hearts and His perfect will and timing in our lives.

More than an answered prayer, Father God desires to develop a deeper relationship with us. He has our best interests at heart, and wants to grow  us in patience and increase our faith. If the Lord always answered instantly, how would we grow in trusting Him?

Especially in Western culture, we tend to have a sort of “microwave mentality” of wanting things now and wanting it our way. As believers, we must renew our minds in God’s Word and fight against the influence of this attitude toward life. Even in the Bible, the Lord provides us with examples of those who waited, and waited, and waited still more:

  • Noah waited, building the ark for 120 years before the Flood actually came.
  • Abraham waited, for God to enable he and his wife to have a son and heir to the covenant promise.
  • Joseph waited, sold into slavery, falsely accused and sent to prison before his rise as a leader.
  • Job waited, for deliverance from the devil’s oppressive attacks upon his life and family.
  • Moses waited, even moving ahead of God’s timing before the time to come forth as deliverer for God’s people.
  • David waited, longing to establish a resting place for God which his son Solomon would actually build.

The people we read about in the Old Testament did not even live long enough to see Jesus’ first coming and all the people of God coming together into the New Covenant made by Jesus’ blood. Nonetheless, they remained faithful to God in the waiting and He counted it as faith. You can read more about these fathers and mothers of our faith in Hebrews 11.

In the waiting, staying in fellowship with God and His Holy Spirit is of the greatest importance. If we focus on Jesus, all His plans for our lives will much more easily come to pass. If we focus too much on the other things, we may miss God’s presence in the details of our lives. If we allow impatience to sway us, we could even step out of God’s timing as we seek to walk out our callings.

Only our personal relationship with God can truly fulfill all the longings of our hearts, even more than the answer to our deepest heart cries or the solution for our neediest prayers. Even the fulfillment of our entire destiny will not satisfy like pursuing intimacy with God.

Continue to pursue intimacy with the Lord above all else as you wait on Him. Remind yourself that it is in the waiting where we grow in closeness with Him. He even promises that those who wait on Him will have their strength increased and not be disappointed (Isaiah 40:31; 49:23).

Even when things do not happen in our timing, we must feed continually on God’s faithfulness. He is never late. He is just doing a work within our hearts and emotions, that we grow in selfless love and the fruit of His Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, self-control, goodness and gentleness). He is creating a testimony of faithfulness through which He wants to display His love and glory.

“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Hebrews 11:8-10 (NKJV)

Here is another great article about waiting on God after He has shown you your calling. Do you have questions about growing in intimacy with the Lord? Feel free to ask.