Archive for November, 2009

Only believe

Posted: November 29, 2009 in Uncategorized

A few nights ago I was reading my bible when I came across a passage of scripture that I have never understood. After asking God to help me understand it, He said, “why don’t you just believe what it says?” Then I realized that because of my own misguided mindsets from the past I had my own idea of what I wanted that passage to say. I can’t blame this on any church because no church taught me on this passage, yet through my own experiences and lack of a deep love for God I created my own idea of what I wanted to to say. But now I realized that I should just believe what Jesus said. It is as simple as that. It isn’t a completely straight forward passage, but it isn’t a parable either.

It made me think of how we can make beliefs about things instead of believing what Jesus actually said. It also made me think about how we tend to over-spiritualize things like faith as though a person has to do something absolutely crazy in order to have faith. You don’t have to be outgoing to have faith and you don’t have to be weird to have faith. I think faith can be as “insignificant” as just trusting God and showing no outward sign of great faith. However, that faith is not insignificant at all. If we can learn to believe what He said and what He is saying we are set. Take this passage from Mark 16:15-18.

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

Too many believers try to come up with excuses for why those signs aren’t following them yet. Hopefully you understand I am not trying to say that any Christian who doesn’t pick up snakes is making excuses. However, we should be driving out demons, healing the sick, speaking in new tongues, picking up snakes when necessary, and be able to eat and drink things that are supposed to hurt us without any bad effects. My focus is on the last part of that passage. Jesus said that believers will place their hands on sick people and the sick people will get well. Why do so many people focus on their problem instead of the promise? Their focus is “God, why haven’t I gotten healed yet” instead of believing that they will get well. This is huge. It only takes believing God’s word in order to step into it. Can we get past our let downs and our incorrect mindsets to receive what God really has for us?

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Romans 8:28 – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Sometimes it is just nice to know that God is looking out for you. One minute my car was doing just fine, the next minute I was trying to figure out why it shut itself down. In the end, it didn’t just have trouble, it kicked the bucket. However, God provided a ride, a place to stay, food, a car to use the next day, a ride so that we didn’t miss our bus and therefore miss our train, and also a ride back to Redding with a friend who was arriving in San Francisco the next day. The list goes on and on. Using the car that was lended to me I got on the wrong freeway, then couldn’t find the freeway entrance, then got on a the freeway going in the wrong direction (it is difficult to know which direction you are going when it doesn’t tell you!). Then, after getting back to the place we stayed at I realized that we wouldn’t make our bus unless we ran there (but who can run 1.5 miles in 10 minutes with a full backpack on? I don’t think I can). However, just 30 seconds before we were going to start running someone came and offered us a ride. Had we been a minute earlier or a minute later we probably wouldn’t have even seen this person. We made it there two minutes before the bus arrived thanks to God working things out for our good to get back home. If we had missed that bus we would have been delayed in getting to our final destination by an hour and wouldn’t have been able to get dinner (we had already missed lunch). Did God cause my car to break down? Nope, but He certainly made sure we were taken care of the rest of the way. He not only provided in the circumstance, but then He even covered my errors to make sure we got where we needed to go on time. He was working for my good, no doubt about it. God beats GPS, On-Star, and concierge service hands down.

I have a vision

Posted: November 18, 2009 in Uncategorized

Proverbs 13:12 – “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”

Recently I have been realizing how important it is to constantly live with vision. If any day is lived without purpose than we miss out on our goals. So unless I manage to become an expert at accidentally accomplishing my dreams I will finish my life unfulfilled. A month or two ago I realized that for me I needed to just set a daily goal. That might be spending 30 minutes reading a book or even something as simple as doing my laundry. The point is getting used to setting goals and doing them. The more I can set things before myself and then see them accomplished, the more I will believe that I can do things that seem to be bigger than I am capable of doing.

The same can be said of spiritual goals. Earlier this year I had a goal to ask God questions and listen for His answers every day. I practiced this basically every day and as a result markedly improved my ability to hear God. I made this my goal because I didn’t want to live under the lie that I can’t hear God very well. I had vision that I would walk in close intimacy with God and would hear His voice clearly. If I didn’t have vision for hearing God, I wouldn’t have ever tried to make steps towards hearing Him better. Likewise, if I didn’t have vision for seeing people get healed I would have never pursued after God and seeing people get healed as much as I did.

Lacking vision has got to be the number one reason why people don’t pursue after bigger things. Although people may think they are unable to accomplish it or have some other excuse for not trying, someone with a vision for it will still go after it and put in lots of effort whereas someone without vision will just give up sometimes without even trying. If your vision is to make enough money to pay your bills you are likely to do that. But if your vision is to give millions to the poor, your outcome will be determined by how strongly the vision lies within you.

What is your vision for today?

I have thought about this before. Back in June I was visiting friends in Miami and I did something that hurt my neck and shoulder. I was really sore and constantly trying to massage myself but with no relief. Finally, after about 24 hours of pain I asked my friends to pray for me. The presence of God came and within two minutes all of my pain was gone. For whatever reason the pain was distracting me from going after what I knew was available.

At other times when I have been sick I easily fall into the mindset of, “now I must be sick until my body recovers.” Yet Jesus never passed over those who were sick from ordinary means. He healed all who were sick. Period. Part of the issue is changing the way we think. I heard it said recently that faith isn’t convincing God to move, it is aligning ourselves with what God has already done. To put it another way, faith is seeing what the Father is doing or has already done and partnering with Him.

If our sickness becomes greater than our focus on God it is easy to remain sick. Or even worse, if we think that God either caused us to be sick or allowed it, we would be in disobedience to seek our healing. That is obviously wrong. Anyone who believes God makes us sick or allows us to be sick and then seeks medical treatment is in sin according to their messed up theology. We need to shift our mindsets about being sick or in pain. God didn’t cause it and He didn’t allow it either. God has all authority, but He isn’t a control freak. Even though our police officers are given authority, that doesn’t stop criminals from breaking the law. The devil will always try to steal, kill, and destroy. He is a thief and that is what he does.

Another reason is that we are so used to being busy that we can’t stop long enough to let God heal us. I almost always do this. I get so busy with whatever and don’t take time to spend with the Lord and allow Him to touch me. It doesn’t take long. Along the same lines I think it shows how little we actually do rely on God to provide for us. We take medicine, go to the doctor, try to sleep more and yet potentially don’t seek God for our healing at all. I am getting convicted just writing this. At the very least we should be resting in His presence, aligning ourselves with Him, allowing His healing to come into our bodies. Are we so trained to make things happen ourselves that we would rather remain in sickness than seek the God who heals?

Making a comeback

Posted: November 9, 2009 in Uncategorized

Nothing like a fresh look to help bring life to something. Recently the owner of the house I live in repainted the outside and boy does it look better! However, as great as the outside of the house looks, that doesn’t change the inside. The carpet is still really old and ugly and the walls still need to be repainted. Painting the outside also doesn’t clean up any of the messes on the inside. Luckily, this blog isn’t for me to become an internet sensation with my cutting edge creativity and high technology. Rather, it is just a place where I can express myself and let my family and friends know what is going on. I love what Bill Johnson says (at least I think it was him), that he doesn’t want to be more famous than he is anointed. Although I want this site to look nice, I don’t want to draw people because of the outward appearance. I want them to be drawn by the anointing. God, let your presence come!