Top 10 Ways to Not Space-Out in Your Quiet-Time

Kings DevosIt was said of George Whitefield, that he woke-up every morning at 4:00am for personal prayer-time. As 10:00pm approached he would say to everyone in his home, “Come, gentleman, it’s time for all good folks to be at home.” Doesn’t that sound a little rude? Why would he say something like that? Because if he stays up too late he wouldn’t be able to wake up early to seek God, (nor would he have been a fire brand to kindle The Great Awakening). According to Deuteronomy 4:24…

God is a “jealous God”.

And if He’s jealous to have your heart, then you and I ought to be jealous about guarding that time, and not letting anyone, (or anything), steal that time with our First Love, who’s name is, Jesus.

Below are some points that I’ve developed for an effective Prayer-Time/Quiet-Time. Avoid the tendency to check e-mail, or Facebook, etc. Get a plan and watch how much your relationship with God will grow.

1. Make a “Prayer Time” CD.

2. Plan ahead & find a “Prayer Closet” where you can be alone.

3. Know in advance where you’re going to read in the Word.

4. Get a Prayer Journal and write down what the Holy Spirit is giving you.

5. Use Rhema Cards to get your prayer time started with faith.

6. Then move into a time of Thanksgiving.

7. Lift your hands in praise & adoration to the Lord.

8. Then begin to pray The Lord’s Prayer.

9. Avoid sleepiness by pacing & praying.

10. Take the last 5 minutes of your Quiet Time to thank, worship, and praise God.

Do have struggles in your Quiet-Time, or secrets that have helped you? Leave a comment below.

If you enjoyed this post, come check out my brand new blog: Today I Can Change: http://www.todayicanchange.com

5 Temper-Tantrum Busters

Have you ever seen those children in Walmart that you just wish would… SHUT UP!!? Just the other day I saw a red-faced, screaming little kid sitting in a shopping cart. It seemed to get everyone’s attention. Surprise, surprise. It’s like nails on a chalkboard. Here’s the thing though. I wonder if our attitudes, can be like to God at times. (Things that make you go, “hmmm”.) But it need not be.

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Gen. 1:26 [kjv]

I’m seeing in a fresh new way the absolute dignity of mankind that God has bestowed upon us, humanoids. Not only are we created in His image, but also after His likeness. Some say, “No one knows what God looks like, because God is Spirit” (John 4).” But right here it says, “Let us make man… after our likeness.” We basically look like God! Does that sound blasphemous? I don’t think so. But herein lies the deeper meaning. If people would just realize the privilege of being alive, and knowing that God has clothed us with majesty, we wouldn’t get so depressed and down on ourselves so quickly.

“God spoke to Cain: “Why this tantrum? Why the sulking? If you do well, won’t you be accepted? And if you don’t do well, sin is lying in wait for you, ready to pounce; it’s out to get you, you’ve got to master it.” Genesis 4:6-7 [msg]

Can’t you just see the grace and mercy of God being extended – even in the midst of our immature, crybaby, temper-tantrum outbursts, that tend to leak-out every once in a while?

Real quick, here’s 5 TEMPER-TANTRUM BUSTERS:

1. Ask yourself, “Why the Tantrum?” (Don’t just accept it.)

2. Determine why you’re depressed. “Why the Sulking?” (You have to break the cycle.)

3. Do Well. (Don’t just “think” about doing better in the future – Do something now.)

4. Beware of Sin. (It’s crouching, it’s lion-like, it’s ready to devour. Better to keep your eyes open.)

5. Master Sin. (Don’t just be an “apprentice”. Be a “Master Disciple”; and for sure Master your sins, lest they master you!)

You can change! And may you, personally, experience greater victory today in your walk with the Lord Jesus!

Another One Bites The Dust

Actually… according to scientists, the Dust Mites may, in fact, be the ones who are biting back!

I’m taking our youth here in Maui, HI through a series we’re calling, “Waking-Up Sleepy Christianity”.

Dust mites love dead skin and some of the best places they feast on are pillows, bed covers, and blankets. This is not meant to freak you out, (but it may have). It’s more to share the spiritual analogy between “dust” and “sleepy Christianity”.

Isaiah 52 says, “Awake, awake! Shake yourself from the dust, arise!”

“DUST”= SLEEPY CHRISTIANITY
Why? Because you don’t know it’s there until you get up close. Sometimes we distance ourselves from people and the church so that they won’t know what’s really going on in our life. Because if you get up-close to me you’ll see that there’s a lot of… Dust. And, dust only comes from one thing – Neglect.

– Dusty Bible
– Dusty Prayer Closet
– Dusty, nasty Attitudes

THE RESPONSIBILITY I HAVE TO WAKE-UP

The Scripture says I have to “shake” myself. The preacher can nudge you, but you’re the only one who can “shake” you. Your friends can try to shake you, They’ll say things like: “You really shouldn’t be doing that. What are you doing?!”, but you’ll just shake it off. You’ve got to shake yourself! It your responsibility. No one can do it, but you.

THIS IS MY WAKE-UP CALL

It’s not that you’re a “bad” person, or a “sinner”, it’s just that me and you, we have neglected our “beautiful garments” (Isaiah 52:1). We have to “put them on”. These are the…

– Beautiful Garments of Salvation
– Beautiful Garments of Forgiveness
– Beautiful Garments of Praise

It’s time to toss that old pillow of sleepy Christianity, and begin a fresh new day with the One who gave His all for you. Don’t be another one who bites the dust, (or is bitten by the “Dust”). What do you say?

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.

Playing it Safe?

If God promises you something big, never settle for less.

“And Moses said to the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben: “Shall your brethren go to war while you sit here?” (Numbers 32:6, NKJV)

This verse, literally jumped out at me this week. The significance of the original language, in this text, is absolutely eye-opening. The tribe of Ruben (which means, “to see” ), and Gad (which means, “a fortune” ), these two tribes saw the incredible land that they wanted to be theirs. The only problem is that it was on the wrong side of the Jordan. The whole deliverance from Egypt was for the purpose of getting them across the Jordan River, and into their very own “Promised Land”. But these two tribes were content to stay right where they were at. What did they see? Num. 32:1 says they saw the land of Jazer (which means, “help & protection” ), and Gilead, (which means: “to be exposed” and “arguments” ). Here’s the thing: Sometimes what looks good on the surface, ends up leaving you exposed, and causes a lot of arguments, shouting matches, and family feuds. When we begin playing it safe, it ends up biting us in the end! Matthew Henry says it like this: “They consulted their own private convenience more than the public good.”

Stop sitting around twiddling your thumbs

To sum it up, let me share this: If God promises you something big, never settle for less. If He’s spoken to you about being a Pastor, don’t lower yourself by taking a management position just because the job looks good, and you know that you’ll be able to afford a house & car payment. If He’s spoken to you to start a business, why are you settling in the land that looks safe, and that you’re protected? You know you’re not happy. You’re arguing with your spouse, your spiritual-walk is constantly being attacked. Why? Because you’re not strapping on your boots and dealing with the issues at hand. Get in there and possess your land! Stop sitting around twiddling your thumbs, while others are excited to be in the promised land. Go get yours!

Freebird

If you grew up in the 70’s, (or if you watched Forrest Gump), you know the song, “Freebird”, by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Part of the song says,

“I’m as free as a bird now, and this bird you cannot change, Lord knows I cannot change.”

Many times we try to escape our problems by simply running away from them. “Lord knows I can’t change.” Actually… He does. In fact, He can set a person free in a different way that’s not necessarily by your own doing.

“…let the living bird loose in the open field .” [Lev. 14:2]

It’s amazing that God revealed in the Old Testament what to do when an incurable disease was healed, (Lev. 14:2). To God, doing the impossible, is just everyday, ordinary stuff that He does. Even when we were still partying it up, and sinning like there was no tomorrow, Jesus had already made provision for our Salvation (Rom. 5:8). The very fact that He included this in His Word ought to cause everyone to know that whatever mountain of difficulty is before us, whatever sickness or disease – God is able to make provision to heal, and set us free!

Digging a little deeper in Leviticus 14, what do each of these things mean? The priest was to take two birds (remember this, it’s important for later), a piece of cedar wood, a piece of scarlet material, and some hyssop. Then he was to put one of these in an earthen vessel, and then kill it over running water. Then he would take the living bird, and the other things, and dip them all in the bird’s blood, (…I know this sounds heavy, but hold on it’s gets easier to understand, I promise). The the blood would then be sprinkled on the leper seven times; and then the living bird would be set free in an open field.

Bird Killed in an Earthen Vessel: This represents Christ, leaving Heaven, inhabiting a human body, then dying for our sins. (2 Cor. 4:7)
Bird Killed over Running Water: This represents how Jesus acted in obedience to the Word of God in actually going to the Cross. It also represents the Holy Spirit, who alone empowers us to lay down our lives like Jesus did. (Zech. 4:6)
The Cedar Wood: This represents the Cross of Christ. (John 19:17)
The Scarlet: This represents the Blood of Christ, and the deliverance that it brings. (Josh. 2:18)
The Hyssop: This represents the passing-over of our sins by the Blood of the Lamb. (Ex. 12:22)
The Living Bird Loosed in the Open Field: This represents 1) the Resurrection of Christ, but also 2) it’s symbolic of us being set free by the death of another – namely Christ. (Rom. 8:2)

Can’t you just see that living bird, covered with blood and water, flapping vigorously, thinking: “Whoa? I almost DIED!! I can’t believe I’m flying away now! ‘O thank You, Jesus!” If you’re thinking, “Lord knows I can’t change” then maybe you need to know that Jesus was was that other “bird” that was killed, instead of you and I. Think of it! The Lord knew you couldn’t change on your own, that’s why He left Heaven 2000 years ago to become a human – just like you and me, to take our place.

‘O that you would soar in life, because of what Christ did on the Cross for you. Then you can truly sing, “…and I’m as free as a bird now…”