My Smog & God’s Cloud

Burning Sugarcane in Maui

This morning as I was driving down the mountain I saw a familiar scene, but something was different. Fields of sugarcane were being burned; and the heat of the smoke was actually pushing away the beautiful white clouds that were being formed around the west Maui mountains. Brown, smog-like haze was beginning to overtake the white clouds. And I thought to myself, “I wonder how many times God has wanted to come down and hover over my life with His presence, but I have such a carnal smoke cloud burning that it pushes Him back.” But I came across a scripture that gives the believer courage in times of struggle.

“Yet in Your manifold mercies You did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day, to lead them on the road; nor the pillar of fire by night, to show them light, and the way they should go.” [Neh. 9:19]

Here, God’s Word is saying that even when the children of Israel were creating the “smog of self-centeredness”, (#1.) They weren’t forsaken by God. And (#2.) The cloud did not depart from them! Just when you think you’re at your worst, and that God is “holding His nose” to your “fires of sin”, He stays with you, showing you mercy, and gives you a real hope that you’re still His, and that He’s not going to leave.

No matter where you’re at today – you may feel like a failure, or that you’ve worn-out your welcome at the altar of God by your multitude of transgressions, but God Word is true! You cannot chase Him away from you. Your “smog” is no match for His “cloud”. He saved you, He changed you, He’s got a vested interest in holding on to you! Think about it, He’s invested too much in you to, somehow, let you go now. No! He’s drawing near to you, and causing His presence to blow away all the carnal pollution that you’ve been spreading in your life. He’s letting you know that, the change you’re seeking is right around the corner, and that you’re new beginning can start today!

Advertisements

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.

God is Moving in the Youth!

GodismovingOn Wed. Nite at United Youth we had a powerful move of God. My message was called, “The Right Kind of Heartburn”, as I preached on, “The Fire of God”. And I shared how John the Baptist said,

“I baptize you with water, but He… will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” [Luke 3:16].

After the Word I opened the Altar to those who wanted that Fire, and… [as the old-timers would say…] “The Fire fell!” Every person I prayed for ⎯ I could literally feel God’s Love for. Tears were streaming down my eyes, and you could see the effects of the Holy Spirit on them as well. There was no manipulation. The Holy Spirit was moving. Many were crying, bowing-down, collapsing under the power of God, and 11 received the gift of the Holy Spirit and spoke in Tongues for the very first time. There was no striving. It was as if God stepped into the room.

Even parents of the youth came in and wanted to receive prayer. One 19 yr old in particular just sat in his chair. I walked up to him and said, “I want to pray for you.” As I did I could smell the Marijuana all over him. I just hugged him ⎯ like a father of a wayward son, and just broke-down crying. After about 5 seconds this young man’s tears were all over me. His Mother then came in. He did something that I’ve never seen before. He grabbed his Mom’s hand and bowed his head in reverend submission to her. It was beautiful as they were re-united. That Mom came up to me today at Church and said, “Thank you, Pastor Robb. My son hasn’t smoked weed ever since that nite”. Tears were streaming down her face.

I’m telling you – seeing young people change so suddenly because of the reality of the Holy Spirit’s Love and Fire will do something to you!

Poem of Fire!

I WANT TO FAST AND PRAY!! [robb gorringe]

When I think about the inward condition of my heart….
…I want to Fast and Pray!!

When I think about the condition of the American Church today…
…I want to Fast and Pray!!

When I think about the plastic TMZ society that glorifies fame and sin….
…I want to Fast and Pray!!

When I think about the Youth who are going thru so many problems….
…I want to Fast and Pray!!

When I think about the strategic efforts of Gangs to recruit….
…I want to Fast and Pray!!

When I think about bubble-gum chewing, yawning “Christians”….
…I want to Fast and Pray!!

When I think about the Power that’s available to bring Salvation and do miracles….
…I want to Fast and Pray!!

When I think about the lost who are still waiting to hear the Gospel….
…I want to Fast and Pray!!

When I think about the Judgment Seat of Christ….
…I want to Fast and Pray!!

When I think of the torment of souls crying in Hell….
…I want to Fast and Pray!!

I WANT TO FAST AND PRAY!!

I’m Not Going to Hell!!

MySpace-ing, TXTing, drooling on your pillow… it’s time to wake-up!!

I just got hit by a sledge hammer of a quote by a famous preacher, Charles Spurgeon…

“Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself, be sure of that.”

Could this really be true? I can just hear somebody sighing right now as they roll their eyes… “yeah, whatever.” But seriously – the Bible actually talks about preachers and evangelists who were able to work miracles, but they ended up in Hell. And if “preachers” can go to Hell, how much more the average Church-going, bubble gum chewing, teen-ager?

My heart is going through something that I honestly haven’t quite figured out yet. Sometimes I see young people falling asleep in Church, or walking-out of youth service before it ends, and I know they don’t understand the state of their own sleeping soul. Now, granted we’ve all had long nights before, but some young people today would rather stay up all nite on MySpace than ever even dare think about reading their Bible or taking time to fellowship with Jesus.

This generation of young people needs a wake-up call!

Jesus said, “…The harvest is so great, but the workers are so few.” Matt. 9:37 NLT.

I would like to give the majority of my time to a young person who had this revelation burning in his/her heart. Because I am ready to spread the fire of the Gospel into the harvest field, and if I just have a small handful of young people who will catch on-fire too, I’ll give my all for them. They can have anything and everything I have. But we must have a soul-wrenching wake-up call for souls! Are you “saved”? If so, can you prove it by the tears you’ve shed for your friends? Can you prove it by the numerous times you’ve shared the Gospel with them? Shrug your shoulders if you want to, but I’m taking up my Cross, I’m following the Master, and I believe there’s a remnant of young people who are ready for a challenge. They’re ready for a Holy Ghost slap in their face to awake from their slumber. I’m not going to Hell, and my youth aren’t going to Hell on my watch, in Jesus’ Name!

Transformations!

At what cost am I willing to see God move? Will I really see God move in my generation?

Daily Bible Reading: James 3-5, Psalm 51

SCRIPTURE

“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” James 4:8 KJV

OBSERVATION
Last nite my wife and I watched the Transformations Video again. It’s amazing to see the way God is willing to invade a community. Sometimes I can look at the world with squinted eyes, thinking, “Lord, is there any hope?” But during my daily Bible reading I came across a verse that shouts, “HOPE!” to me. During the video many from different nations were saying that God is only wanting to be invited to come. Here James is saying that we need to draw near and we need to get rid of our sin. It’s really convicting me to see what needs to be dealt with in my own heart.

APPLICATION
In the video Winkey Pratney said, “We like to talk about Jesus, but we don’t really talk to Jesus.” Is that an incitement, or what? I know I can be guilty of that sometimes. Only the heart really knows. I just desire my pursuit of God to be authentic and heart-felt. “Devotions” can turn into ritual. Bible reading can turn into a “To Do List”, but when I really draw near to God it goes beyond my “Quiet Time”, it is being aware of Jesus at all times.

PRAYER
“Jesus, it’s my prayer this morning that you would forgive me for times of distance. Forgive me for times when I think I’m close to You, but really I’m far away. I pray for a fresh grace to come down and water me. Fill me with a greater level of expectation of seeing You move in and thru my life today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”