It’s a 2-Way Street

Being in a relationship has many blessings and benefits. “I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine.”  Whether it’s a romantic, professional, or just plain “friends” type of relationship— no healthy relationship is ever just “1-sided”. Our relationship with God is very similar. Check out this definition of 2-way in the dictionary:

Two-way: adjective // allowing or involving movement or communication in opposite directions : a two-way radio | make the interview a two-way process.
• involving two participants : a two-way presidential race.
• (of a switch) permitting a current to be switched on or off from either of two points.

Check out this scripture. It has 2 actions, and 2 benefits:

Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; and to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God. Psalm 50: 23 [nkjv]

Can you find them? I bet you can.
2 ACTIONS                                                          2 BENEFITS
1.  Whoever offers praise…………………………………….. 1.  Glorifies Me
2.  Him who orders his conduct aright…………………. 2.  I will show the salvation of God.

I’m not real good with math, or with long-drawn out details with tons of information; but give me a few steps, or a couple keys, and you’ll have me running in no time. Because I sure do want [1] God to be gloried in my life, and I want Him to [2] to show me the salvation, deliverance, and victory that I so desperately need in my life. So what will it take?

[1] Praise is the opposite of complaining. It’s saying to God: “O Lord, in the midst of this situation, I just offer praise to You!”  Complaining says to people: “I just get irritated with my life, because I don’t have any time to do what I want to do!”  Notice the difference? One is directed to God, the other to people. Someone might say, “Yeah, but I’ve complained to God before.”  But I bet it didn’t last long. Why? Because it was a prayer, and when you begin to get God in your situation—it won’t be long before you’re having a way different perspective; and you’ll soon be praising and thanking Him for the victory that begins to flood your heart. You praise Him, and God is glorified. It’s a 2-way street.

[2] Although I would not say I’m a “Type-A” personality, I do like things in order. Ok, ok, I confess… I like to make my bed before I leave for work. Similarly, in our relationship with God, order is a very important component. When our lives are in disarray it’s hard to see God and to navigate His will. For example, if you haven’t read your Bible in a while, (or don’t happen to know where it is right now), or you haven’t had a quality Quiet Time in a while — chances are you get upset very easily, and frustration has been a emotion you feel on a regular basis. Our conduct must be ordered. It’s the way we behave and carry ourselves. Yes, you need victory over that habit, you’re praying for God’s blessing on your finances — but it’s a 2-way street.

Get clear on what needs to change in your conduct, begin to purposely praise God instead of complaining, and watch God move in your behalf. Remember, in your relationship with God—it’s a 2-way street.

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Start Stompin’

STOMPLESS SOLDIERS
There are far too many “stompless soldiers” in God’s army today. Instead of being believers who stomp on the enemy and get the victory, we have spiritual stragglers, who are barely even able to make it out of bed to pray. It’s time for God’s people to get their stomp back!

Start Stompin’
Instead of stomping on the land, we’re sipping the wine in our hands.
Instead of walking in the Spirit, we’re so quiet so no one can hear us.
Instead of being clean and sober, we’re carnal and hung-over.
Instead of fighting against the Devil and his minions, we’re concerned about his opinions?
Why don’t we stop all this silliness, and really get down to business?
It’s time we take His Word and preach it, until all have heard it.
Instead of using our “liberty” to sin, let’s use God’s power to really bring the lost in!

Joshua 1:2–3 2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. [kjv]

AGGRESSIVE CHRISTIANITY
The word, “Tread”= literally means: to march, to trample, or to stomp upon. This isn’t being light-footed, as if you’re walking on eggshells. No, this is deliberate, on purpose, I’m-letting-you-know-that-I’m-here, kind of walking.
I’m not sure why the Church has moved away from this kind of aggressive Christianity. Oh, wait… I remember now, we don’t want to “offend” the non-believers. We drink beer, sip wine, smoke, and cuss now. Not only that, but we take pictures of it all, and post them on our social networks for all to see. But while Christians flaunt their “Christian liberties”, and while others worry about being as nice and relevant as possible towards those outside the Church – the devil himself has walked right through the front door of the Church, set up his desk and coatrack, kicked his feet up with a Cuban cigar in his mouth, and a huge grin on his face. Why? Because his job is, “oh, so much easier” now. But my Bible says…

“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” Matthew 11:12

TIPPY-TOE BELIEVERS
I wish there were more stomping believers, and a whole lot less of “Tippy-toe Believers” in the world today. This sloppy spirituality is sending a mixed message to new Christians and heathen alike. “Uh, I thought Christians weren’t supposed to do those kinds of things anymore?” Today, we can’t stomp. In fact, we have lost our spiritual boots. We’re walking around in stinky, smelly socks – that are soiled in the mud of sin and spiritual apathy.

But listen to what God says, “I have already given it to you, but you’ve got to stomp on the land!”

It’s time to get moving in the Spirit!
It’s time to get our strength back!
It’s time to put on our boots!
It’s time to WIN, and not to lose!

Prayer-to-Pray:
“Lord, I need to get fired-up once again. May Your holy fire get hold of me once again. Help me to take my stand to today, and to really live the gospel. Revive me now, I pray. Holy Spirit, I receive Your power to start stompin’ today! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

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?
.

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)

Don’t Settle for Less

Some merely settle for a “Christian-radio coffee-in-hand-drive-to-work” kind of walk with the Lord.

“You shall not at all do as we are doing here today— every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes— for as yet you have not come to the rest and the inheritance which the Lord your God is giving you. ” (Deu. 12:8–9, NKJV)

One of the signs of a halted spiritual growth is when a person just begins to do, “whatever is right in his own eyes.” They’ve somehow lost sight of the fact that there’s more that the Lord has for them. The Apostle Peter calls it being “shortsighted” (2 Pet. 2:9). This is why the Holy Spirit is very strong in saying, “For as yet you have not come to the rest and the inheritance which the Lord your God is giving you.” It’s like going to a movie… but then walking out after the previews, saying to yourself, “What a lame movie, l’m getting out of here.” That would be so foolish, and yet it’s what so many believers are doing today—quitting just shy of their breakthrough. Some merely settle for a “Christian-radio coffee-in-hand-drive-to-work” kind of walk with the Lord. There’s no tears of intercession, no baptism of the Spirit, no joy unspeakable, no power over the flesh, no passion for the lost, no time soak in the scriptures, no time to melt in God’s presence. It’s all on big yawn.

Now, thank God He doesn’t give up on us as easily as we give up on Him. His mercy does endures forever, but the Holy Spirit is still trying to get our attention as we stand in line at Starbucks…

“My Son, you haven’t arrived yet. What are you doing here? You need more than caffeine poured down your throat, you need Me burning in your heart.”

Maybe you’ve been running on empty lately because of disillusionment, and perhaps it’s even caused you to run the race according to your own rules. But deep in your heart you know you aren’t satisfied. It’s time to yield to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and to stop running in circles, and begin to once again submit to the mighty hand of God upon your life, your calling, and your future destiny. Don’t allow yourself to settle for less than God’s best. It’s time.

CHAOS IS TAKING OVER!!

At times it can seem like chaos is reigning.

– Parents are getting out of control
– Local drug dealers are busy polluting Society
– Your best friend just talked behind your back
– Brothers & sisters are driving you crazy
– “There’s no food in the fridge!”
– …and “Why doesn’t anybody CARE!!!???”

Always remember that when it’s super crazy all around you – it doesn’t have to GET IN you. The storm might be raging all around you, but it doesn’t need to get all up ON you! Jesus is your Strong Tower – Run to Him and you’ll be safe. It’s the smartest move you’ll ever make.

How To Hear The Voice of God

Here’s 3 practical steps in hearing the Voice of God that have helped me greatly, and may pave the way for you to begin to hear God’s voice.

With so many things going on today someone might say, “Is it even possible to hear the voice of God?” God is speaking today. The real question is, “Are you listening?” Today we are literally bombarded with radio, TV, computers, video games, screaming kids, and traffic ⎯⎯ just to name a few. Sometimes we feel like if we could just get away we would be able to get our head cleared and really become more spiritual. And you know what? You’re right. But most of us can’t take a 3 month vacation and be a monk on a mountain somewhere. But there is a way for us live-out our faith on a daily basis so that our relationship with God will benefit us.

1. Carve-Out Time in Your Schedule to Wait on God.
Think of what you find yourself saying so often, “I just don’t have time.” That’s why you need to set a priority on making time to spend with God. Go to bed an hour earlier, and set your alarm an hour earlier. Start there.

2. Go to a Quiet Place.
This is so important. As long as kids are screaming and phones are ringing you wont be able to hear the voice of God. Think of it, you’re wanting to hear the voice of the Eternal God! Don’t take it lightly. Position yourself.
Think of the times God spoke in the Bible. Moses was all by himself on a mountain. So, plan your time and then get to a place where you won’t be distracted.

3. Quite Your Heart to Listen
Make sure there is no unconfessed sin in your life. Ask God to speak to you. Whatever you hear, make sure that it doesn’t contradict God’s Word, for God will never contradict Himself. Write down what you are sensing Him saying to you. If you’re not sure about what you’re heard, find a mature believer or Pastor to check it. Because the Bible says that there are many voices that speak. This will give you confidence, and will add to your faith, that you are in fact hearing the voice of God.

Applying these 3 easy steps will get you on the road to hearing the voice of God. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to let me know.