Don’t Go Without!

What does a rabbit’s foot and guardian angels have to do with this article? Keep reading and find out…

“And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him: “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. For a long time Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law. ” (2 Chronicles 15:2–3, NKJV)

There’s so much in just these two verses.

“The Lord is with you while you are with Him.” We often pray the prayer, “Lord, just be with us….” It’s a nice prayer to pray, but God tells us how to have the Lord with you: Be with Him. Instead of asking the Lord to tag along with you, like some sort of guardian angel, or lucky rabbit’s foot, we need to be much with Him.

This next part leapt off the pages to me: “For a long time Maui has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law.”

1. WITHOUT RELATIONSHIP Think of that, “without the true God”. It’s like living your whole life thinking and doing one thing, but the true reality is simply a figment of your imagination. In the context, Israel was getting involved in idol worship. They thought Ashram (v. 16) represented a powerful god, but it was merely statue. It would be like if my son talked to my guitar saying, “Daddy, I ask you to help me now.” I would have to grab him and say, “Hey, over here! I’m not that piece of wood!” I think of so many here in the Hawaii – living without God. Everyday, driving to work, not knowing the sweet presence of the Lord. ‘O how it must change!

2. WITHOUT REVELATION “without a teaching priest”. I like how Ezekiel puts it… “And they shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the unholy, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.” (Ezekiel 44:23, NKJV) ‘O to receive and walk-in revelation knowledge!

3. WITHOUT RULES “without the law”. Now, I would be the first one to tell you, that Christianity isn’t a bunch of rules and regulations, but I’ve found that we can be so “free” that no longer have standards of righteousness. I see believers posting pictures on the internet of them drinking alcohol, smoking, and swearing . How can we really know the way if we’ve lost our compass, our sense of direction, and personal holiness? How can we show others the way if we, ourselves don’t know where we’re going ourselves? We’re going “without”.

…Without the presence of God
…Without the Bible
…Without daily devotions
…Without convictions and standards
…Without a prayer-life
… Without power
…Without direction

The Lord never meant for any one of us to go without. He fills the hunger soul with good things. Are you hungry enough to go to Him today? Don’t be one of those who goes without. Allow the Lord to do a work in your life today.

Prayer:
“Lord, I don’t want to “go without”. I need a stronger relationship with You today. Help me to draw near to You today, I pray. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

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Psychological Procrastination

We’re all familiar with procrastination. “I know I should do it today, but… I’ll do it next week.” But as I was praying, I came up with a term that described the way I feel many times: “psychological procrastination”. This is where you’re at church, or at home, and you begin to think about getting closer to the Lord, or you’re wanting to have a more passionate faith. But then you think within yourself, “I’m not really feeling it right now. I will get closer to the Lord, but just not today. Maybe next week I’ll get something out of church or the sermon.”

And it goes on week after week – a whole year goes by and you’re thinking, “Where has the time gone? My life needs to go to another level!” Here’s the kicker though. We get excited for a day, or week at most, but then gradually decline into our typical ‘mode’, whatever that happens to be for you. But there needs to be a way to really break free from this “psychological procrastination”, so that a change can really take place, and that fruit would follow.

Maybe it’s just being aware that psychological procrastination is taking place, is the first step to change.

Spiritual Sleepiness 101

I’m currently taking our Youth at King’s Cathedral through a series I’ve entitled, “Waking-Up Sleepy Christianity”.

Here’s some “Sleeping Statistics” for You…

  • If you’re between the age of 13-25, about half of you fell-asleep unintentionally this month.
  • If you’re between the age of 18-25, 5% of you fell-asleep while driving this month.
  • Did you know that you will sleep-away about a 1/3 of your life?

Other words for “Sleep”= Siesta, Shut-eye, Catnap, Nod-off, Power nap; Slumber, Take a snooze, or Crash.

Anyone here ever fall-asleep in Class, School? How about in Church? True story: My Pastor in Chicago told me a little story of when he was in High School. After school he got on the bus & happened to fall asleep. That wasn’t too bad except… his head eventually made it’s way over to the chest of the lady sitting next to him. He didn’t realize what was going on. As he slowly came to his senses, his face was right in the breast of a big black lady! He was so shocked & embarrassed he didn’t know what to do. But the lady said to him, (as she put her hand on the back of his head), “There, there, it’s ok, you just rest right here with Mama.”

But What is “Sleep”? Wikipedia:

  • Sleep is a naturally recurring state characterized by reduced or absent consciousness, relatively suspended sensory activity, and inactivity of nearly all voluntary muscles
  • But if I were to defineSpiritual Sleepiness I would say: it is spiritual state of being characterized by reduced (or completely absent) spiritual alertness. With it, there’s little or no spiritual activity. All spiritual progress comes to a screeching halt.

The Apostle Paul says, “It’s HIGH TIME to awake out of sleep!” [Rom. 13:11] “High Time” is the equivalent of it being 12-noon, when the sun is shinning it’s brightest!

Can you imagine someone being totally asleep outside, laying out under the blistering sun of summer? A little drool is starting to form. Face is totally sun-burnt. You’d think, “Whoa? What an idiot?!!” And yet this is the sad state of many Christians today. God says, “It’s time to wake-up!”

Where are you at today in your relationship with God today?
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Still Not Changed?

On the one hand, it’s amazing that God would speak from Heaven to man, and that he wouldn’t just fry like a battered chicken tossed into boiling oil. But on the other hand, it’s sad that God would speak to man, and yet he would still remain the same.

“…We have seen this day that God speaks with man; yet he still lives.” [Deu. 5:24]

Just a few verses later, the Lord says,

“Oh that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!” (v. 29).

So, in effect He’s saying, “I’m speaking to you, and it seems like you’re receiving it, but when push comes to shove, your heart isn’t really in it; and I know you’re not going to obey me; and thus you’re disqualifying yourself to the blessing that I’m wanting to give, both you, and your children.”

I think of how many times I’ve heard God speak to me — at church, in my quiet-time, etc., but it still doesn’t change me. The Word came to slay my flesh, yet I walked away unscathed. Like Jeremiah says, “his scent has not changed.” [48:11]

Spiritual Stragglers

Far too many of us Christians struggle with spiritual amnesia—walking around with a constant bump on our forehead, forgetting just how sly the devil moves and operates.

“Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God.” (Deuteronomy 25:17–18, NKJV)

Amalek here is a type of the enemy. In fact, the root meaning of “Amalek” means: To work, toil endlessly. To “Straggle” means just about the exact opposite: To dawdle, walk slowly, lollygag. So, while the enemy is staying awake at night, scheming how he can destroy a life, a family, a church, a nation—Mr. Christian is at the end of the line, in last place, oblivious to the fact that the devil has his sniper scope all dialed-in to pick you off when you least expect it!

Also, notice the timing of the enemy’s attacks: “…when you were tired and weary.” It’s not to say the he can’t, or doesn’t attack believers when they’re on-fire for God, but (being the sly devil that he is), he knows that spiritual stragglers are easy pickings, and he (in a sense) get’s more bang for his buck. Always remember that the devil is your enemy. Never hope that he’ll have mercy on. The Bible says of Amalek, “…he did not fear God.” The reason I say this, is because many Christians have the idea, “Well, I don’t want get too serious about my walk with Christ. I’ll just go to church, not be too bad, that way the devil won’t bother me.” Watch out. With that type of thinking, you might actually be a spiritual straggler, at the end of the line. Everyday you find yourself getting more tired, more weary; and the devil is watching you with a smile on his face—just waiting for perfect the right time to pull the trigger and take you out.

Romans 12:11 says, “…not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” The King James says, “Not slothful in business.” Hebrews 10:38… “Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.”

We can’t afford to lag behind!
We can’t afford to be slothful!
We can’t afford to draw back!
We can’t afford to take spiritual vacations!
Now is the time to AWAKE!

“And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” (Romans 13:11–14, NKJV)

“Ah, I’ll Pray Later”

Quite-TimeOne of the favorite things the enemy loves to steal is our prayer time.

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. [John 10:10]

Far too many Christians don’t understand just how much of an injustice this is. If our car were ripped off, we’d be furious! We’d call the police, our insurance agent, and all our friends wouldn’t hear the end of it. But when the enemy steals-away our Devotional life? “Ah, I’ll pray later.” Or, “Hey, it’s not such a big deal, we’re saved by grace – relax, bro.” And all the while the Devil is rolling on the floor with laughter as, another one bites the dust and another day of spiritual Rigamortis sets in.

It’s time for God’s people to get furious over letting the enemy steal-away the most valuable weapon we have! Love your car? Love your Devotional-Life more.

Beach Bum or Battle Ready?

This passage paints a vivid picture in my mind of a soldier who is doing his own thing. While others have their uniforms starched and pressed, ready for the day, I see another soldier who is wearing his bermuda shorts and aloha shirt – totally not ready for service, battle, or even the daily line-up before the commander.

“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning.” [Acts 24:5 NIV]

Could it be he has a lamp that’s been neglected and snuffed-out from sin, and thus his sloppiness doesn’t really seem to matter? Jesus isn’t offering a mere suggestion in verse 35, it’s a command! I can just see the commander’s veins popping out from his neck as he shouts to his troops… “BE dressed! Keep your lamps BURNING!”

I wonder what most of us look like in the spiritual-realm? Are we beach bums or battle ready soldiers? The New King James version says, “Let your waist be girded…”. Could it be that we’re so self-absorbed, self-conscious, self-centered, all because we’re walking around with our spiritual pants around our ankles? Our lives must be girded with truth like a soldier’s belt. Can you imagine worshipping Jesus – Sunday morning at your Church – and having your pants down around your ankles? We wouldn’t be worshipping, we’d be worrying! It time to get clothed in Christ [Gal. 3:27] first thing in the morning. It’s time to get into the Word of God [Ps. 119:105], and allow it to get our hearts burning once again for the things of God! Don’t settle for a mediocre life when God has so much more! Christ is coming, and we must be battle ready.