Sunday, January 30, 2011

10 Year Old Minister

Jared Sawyer, Jr

Will You Dance on This Side of the Sea?

Will you dance before your eyes can see?  Before the victory?  Moses and the children of Israel praised God with song and dance.  They did the right thing, but they did it at the wrong time.  They praised him after they saw the victory.

God is teaching us to trust him and to dance on this side of the sea, before our eyes can see. He revealed a simple truth to me today.  When Moses and the children of Israel were at the edge of the Red Sea, with a mountain on both sides of them and Pharoah at their back, the "way out" was right in front of them.  They couldn't see it because it was covered by water.  But it was there just the same.  They didn't see it until God saw fit to part their "circumstances" and show them the path.  When the time was right he said, "this is the way, walk ye in it." 

We know that God led the children of Israel through the desert as a cloud by day, a pillar of fire by night.  Sometimes we walk through our own desert experience and we can see the Lord in front of us, leading us through.  But let's look at this passage of scripture a bit closer.  We see in Exodus 14:19 that God actually removed himself from in front and went behind them.  How many of us have been waking through our own desert when suddenly, for no apparent reason, we can no longer feel or see the Lord.  We feel alone and deserted by him.  Yet the Lord has told us, "I will never leave you or forsake you."  So I ask you, how long is never?  Simple.  Never! 

Why would a loving God do such a thing as to lead us part way through our desert and then abandon us when our enemy Pharoah is pressing in on us?  We find the answer in the very next verse of Exodus 14, verse 20:  "And it (the angel of God) came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, (the Egyptians) but it gave light by night to these: (the children of Israel) so that the one came not near the other all the night."  God did not abandon them, he simply moved himself to a place where he could better protect and deliver them! 

Many times our experiences are so dark and so long, we begin to think they will never end.  But we must remember that God promises "to make all things beautiful in his time."  How much is all?  All. 

Exodus 14:21 (among many other scriptures) speaks of God's time table. " And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided."

God wants to deliver us, but like Moses, we must "stretch forth our staff over the waters."  In other words, we must raise up our relationship with him, and let that relationship cover over our circumstances with authority. 

Brethren, God will deliver you!  He will deliver all of us.  He has never given anyone of us a stone when we've asked him for bread!  He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end!  He is the author and the finisher of our faith! 

Let us look up, for our redemption is drawing near!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Good Intentions vs God's Annointing

Only a day after I posted "Service or Submission", the Lord allowed me to witness a situation in which he confirmed to me that I had been hearing him correctly on this subject.

A friend of mine is struggling right now; going through an extremely difficult time in her life . She shared a little bit with some christians that we know. A few people came to her and offered support, saying things like, "anytime you want to talk just give me a call." Or "call me, I know what you're going through, I'd be glad to help." So, my friend decided to give it a try and talk to someone that she thought might be able to identify with her struggles. She made the call for help.

The woman she called was very glad to come over, in fact they set up a time for the very next evening to get together. When that time came and the woman arrived, much to my friends dismay, she had brought her husband along with her. My friend was a bit taken aback, she had wanted to talk "woman to woman", but decided to go ahead and share some of her heart anyway. Less than 10 minutes into the conversation my friend knew that this was a waste of her time. Neither the woman or her husband had an understanding of what my friend was going through, let alone how she was feeling. My friend told me later that she saw very quickly that there was no depth and no annointing on these people for counseling in this area.

The mentioned couple are very caring, God loving people. They sacrificed their time to visit to my friend and help her. Though my friend appreciated their care and concern, she was left feeling frustrated and disappointed.

My husband has a saying, "there is nothing like the real article!" Another words, there's nothing like talking with someone who has been where you are, who has walked in your shoes! Those are the ones who can identify; who know what you're going through and how you feel.

Now the flip side of the coin. My friend called her Aunt, who in past years had gone through a very similar battle. Her aunt was quickly able to identify and validate my friend's thoughts and feelings. which offered a sense of security. She prayed for her with authority and reassured her that there is hope and healing available. She spoke words of wisdom, biblical truth, and comfort, all under God's annointing.

There are many christians with big hearts, of them there is no shortage, but we must hear God's voice as to when and where we are to minister. Having a big heart for others is not enough. Having a real heart means to have a heart for God, to listen for his voice, and be willing to obey his direction. God told Moses, in the midst of his "diaster", "stand still and see the salvation of God."

Simply put, if God has not called and annointed us, we must not go.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Service or Submission?

Recently, during a conversation with a friend about how busy life is, I suddenly remembered something the Lord had spoken to me a few years ago. 

My husband and I were involved in many areas of ministry in our church, ie: youth group, prayer team, praise team,  marriage counseling.  We were busy nearly every evening of the week.  One day the Lord spoke very clearly to me and said, "You are doing so much for me that you aren't doing anything with me." 

This not only frightened me, but saddened me as well.  I thought about the scripture from 2 Timothy 3:5 that talks about, "having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof."  We can appear holy on the outside, especially if we are busying ourselves with "the things of God."  But the bible tells us "today if you will hear my voice"...meaning we need to hear exactly what God is telling us to do.  Jesus did only what the Father told him, nothing more and nothing less. 

In a world where there are so many needy and so many places to minister, we must be careful to do only the good works of God.  Another words, "go where he sends us."  Anything else would be the same as "building the house in vain."  ("Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it.")  Psalm 127:1

How many times did Jesus set himself apart from everyone and everything and just spend time with the Father?

Are we willing to get quiet before God and ask him to search our hearts, to show us why we do the things we do?  To show us if we are doing those things for him?  Have we truly heard his voice today and allowed him to direct our paths?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Birthing The Manchild

During the time that my daughter was in labor, her support team surrounded her.  We were able to encourage her to look inside herself and find that which God had placed within her to help her birth her child.  We helped her locate her strength, hope, courage and trust that God had promised her. 

She was in labor nearly 30 long, difficult hours, and eventually as weariness set in she began to make statements such as "I don't think this is ever going to end."  And "I think this is over rated."  This provoked a deep thought process within me as I pondered how many times in my christian walk I have felt the very same way, and perhaps even said the same things about my own circumstances.  Most times bringing forth new life is very difficult and a painful process. 

As the head began to crown she labored with all she had in her.  Her support team kept encouraging her that "we can see the head."   "It is almost over."  "He is almost here!"  "Keep pushing, you CAN do it!"  I saw strength in her that absolutely amazed me!

Brethren, Jesus Christ is coming again and he will appear in his people.  1 John 3:2 says, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." 

It struck me that my daughter and all of her support team was waiting for one thing.  To see his face!  To see what he looked like.  Jesus IS the head, and brethren, the Head is crowning.  He is coming forth and his people are waiting to see his face. 

As my daughter labored she grew more and more tired, to the point where she told me that she just couldn't do it.  The apostle Paul told us "do not grow weary in well doing."  There's a reason Paul said that.  It's because we DO grow weary!  But if we stay rallied around one another, encouraging one another, pointing each other to Christ, to that which God has placed within us, we WILL birth that life!  Hebrews 10:25 says, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."

Brethren, He is coming!  Come Lord Jesus.  Come. 
This song is being sung by my daughters, a best friend, and me.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Paining and Travailing

"And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered."  Revelation 12:2

My daughter recently gave birth to her first child, my first grandchild.  I observed her as her pregnancy progressed, from her elation of the news to her morning sickness, to being uncomfortable, to the swelling in her ankles to the pain in her back.  Through it all her joyous expectation remained: she knew she was bringing forth new life.  A manchild. 

The hope and joy that she knew was set before her are the very things that saw her through to the end. 

My daughter has always had a low tolerance for physical pain and she was quite anxious about going into labor.  Fear of the unknown, fear of how much pain she would be in; fear of not being able to have "enough" pain medication.  When the time came, all of those around her, including herself, were amazed at how she reached down inside of herself and found more strength as the labor pains grew more intense.  There is a scripture that God gave me recently, from Deuteronomy 33:25.  "As your day is, so shall your strength be." 

God will not give us more than we can handle.  As we labor and travail to bring forth that manchild, that Christ life, God himself will give us the strength for the moment we are in.  We need not fear the unknown, we need not fear how painful it might be, nor do we need to fear if he will administer pain meds.  He will give us the strength we need when we need it. 

Like the children of Israel in the wilderness, God rained down manna (their daily bread) each day as they needed.  They were not to store up more than they needed for that day.  If they tried the manna would spoil.  God wants to provide afresh for us each day.

Thank you Lord, that your mercies are new every morning, that you are my strength and strong tower, and in you I find my rest, peace and hope for today.