The Second Door

As I was reading the scriptures this morning, the Lord gave me a poem.

As you read the first part of Ezekiel 44, the Lord brings Ezekiel towards the Temple, and shows him the east gate, and says, “This gate shall be shut… and no man shall enter it…” (v. 2). I thought how that so often we perceive our reality this way in God. Discouragement sets in, and we feel like we somehow aren’t spiritual, “Yeah, I figured I wasn’t going to experience the presence of God in my prayer time. That’s why I don’t really like to pray – the heavens are brass, and the door is always shut.” But we’ve all heard the saying, “God doesn’t close one door without opening another.” If we persevere in prayer, the Lord will show us another door.

“Then brought he me the way of the north gate before the house: and I looked, and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord: and I fell upon my face.” [Ezekiel 44:4]

The Second Door

It’s time to pray
I hear the Lord to me say
And yet I feel so dumb
Will it be worth it if I come?

I know this gate is my fate
This door will be closed like before.
See? He says it’s shut
It’s just my luck
My doubts have locked the door

But wait.
Could it be?
I see a light
In the second gate?
O this second door is worth waiting for!
O the treasure that’s in store – for me!

Then the glory flowed
My face did glow
My Friend was found
My heart is sound
I’m as happy as can be

So don’t hesitate
From past mistakes
Or feel that prayer’s a chore

The sign you need
Is the invitation He brings
Faith unlocks the door.

RJG © 2011

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Where to Find Treasure

Have you ever felt like there was something out there for you, but you weren’t quite sure what it was, or where you could find it? At different times, even our own minds play tricks on us— “If I just had more money I wouldn’t have to struggle so much” or… “If I were famous I could really make a difference in this world”, or… “If I were more beautiful….” and the list goes on & on. We find ourselves chasing the wind most of the time.

“There is desirable treasure, and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man squanders it.” (Proverbs 21:20, NKJV)

But here’s the thing: God fully understands our human nature – in hunting for what satisfies; that’s why He says in Proverbs 21:20… “There is a desirable treasure!” It’s like…

“Don’t give up. Just re-adjust your mindset as to what you interpret as “treasure”.

If your treasure is gold, glory, or glamour—you’re squandering the real “treasure”. But if you join your faith to the Word of God, and say, “There IS a desirable treasure!! And it’s the oil of the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and being tapped-in to Heaven’s resources, and the relationship I can have with God thru the person of the Holy Spirit!” – then truly you’ll have found the most valuable treasure any person could ever possess! You’ll feel like you’ve struck it rich!

PRAY THIS PRAYER:
“Lord, if there’s areas in my life that I’m trying to find fulfillment in, but I’m looking in the wrong places, please help me to re-adjust my focus today. Please forgive me for squandering the real treasure of my relationship with You. I want the oil of the Holy Spirit in my life today. I’m hungry for Your presence today. Fill me now, in Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen!”

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.

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…”

5 Keys to Being Backed by Heaven

“Yo! I got your back!” Have you ever had anyone say that to you? Feels good, doesn’t it? But how would you feel if the very God in Heaven were to back you in everything you did? Take a look at this scripture…

“As for you, if you (1) live in my presence as your father David lived, (2) pure in heart and action, (3) living the life I’ve set out for you, (4) attentively obedient to my guidance and (5) judgments, then I’LL BACK YOUR KINGLY RULE over Israel—make it a sure thing on a sure foundation. The same covenant guarantee I gave to David your father I’m giving to you, namely, ‘You can count on always having a descendant on Israel’s throne.”

[2 Chron. 7:17-18 The MSG Bible]

Notice the 5 keys!!

1. Live in the Presence of God.

2. Live with a Pure heart & pure Actions.

3. Live the life God gave you, (don’t wish you were someone else).

4. Live in Obedience to the Voice of the Holy Spirit.

5. Live off of the very Words of God!

May the Lord strengthen your spiritual foundation, and encourage you to know that He will strongly support those, whose hearts are completely His!

6 Youth Healed in Maui

I’ve been praying for God to do the miraculous, and have been interceding for the wonderful people on Hawaii. Just last week some incredible miracles had taken place, and I wanted give all the glory, honor, and credit to Jesus Christ for these documented & dated Healings that have taken place.

1.6.9.10 // I.G. Youth Service// Jr. High Girl – Eye Healed (Who’s eye was in pain during the Service), when hands were laid on her, she said that she had no pain.

2.6.9.10 // I.G. Youth Service// Keeley – Back Healed (He’s going to be a Senior in Sep.) He said that when he was a Freshman, he was on the football team and he got tackled real hard, and since then his back has always been in pain. When hands were laid on him he said he experienced a sensation of heat in his back, and the pain had completely left! [*I spoke with him on 6.15.10, and he told me his back is still feeling great!]

3.6.9.10 // I.G. Youth Service// Jerick – Pain like needles in Heart Healed (Jordan’s brother). He testified that 2 years ago he started experiencing, what he called, “needles in his heart”. His parents took him to the doctor. When they X-rayed him they didn’t find anything. So, for the last 2 years, he said that he’s just learned to live with the pain. But when hands were laid on him the pain of needles in his heart – of 2 years – had completely disappeared!

4.6.9.10 // I.G. Youth Service// Karl – Ankle Healed (This Skater had crashed on his skateboard). His ankle was in pain. He’s not sure if it was sprained, but he said that when we prayed & hands were laid on him that the pain was completely gone.

5.6.9.10 // I.G. Youth Service// Jordan – Back pain Healed (He had severe back pain because of falling in a Breakdancing move.) After hands were laid on him he was overcome by the power of God & felt a burning in his back. I asked him to do something that he was unable to do before. He put his hands on his hips, rocked back & forth fasten than I’ve seen anyone ever do this type of body movement. Then he reached down & touched his toes, just as fast. He looked up & his eyes were big as saucers, and the youth went crazy cheering for God moving in our midst. (*I just talked to him on 6.16.10, and he said his back is STILL HEALED!)

6.6.13.10 // King’s Cathedral Maui 6pm Service w/ Don Piper// Filapina woman from Lahaina – Nearsighted Vision Healed (As Dr. Marocco called for the Pastors & Ministers to come forth to pray for those who need healing), as she came up I asked her, “How can I pray for you.” She said, “My eyes, my eyes!” With all the people being prayed for, I couldn’t hear her. She repeated it, and I nodded, and she pointed at the powerpoint screen and said, “I can’t see the words up there.” I said, “Ok, let’s pray. I’m going to touch your eyes”, and I proceeded to pray. Normally I would just say, “In Jesus name, Amen, God bless you.” But since I had recently seen the Holy Spirit move so powerfully just a few days prior, my faith was stirred, and so as she opened her eyes, I said, “How are your eyes now?” As she looked up at the screen her eyes opened as wide as they could go, and she said, in almost disbelief & unexpected joy, “I can see! I can see!” And then big tear rolled down her left eye, and she said, “Oh, thank you, thank you!” And we praised God together.

“Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever.” [Hebrews 13:8]

You Can’t Tie a Man Who’s Already Bound

Who is this “Paul” anyway? Sound a little strange? bound

DBR – Daily Bible reading: Acts 19-21

S. SCRIPTURE
The Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” [Acts 21:13 13 NKJV]

O. OBSERVATION
Paul had been beaten, jailed, and ran out of town by those who didn’t want any part of his message. The Christians at Caesarea tried to keep him from going to Jerusalem. In verse 4 it says, “They told Paul through the Spirit not to go up to Jerusalem.” So who’s right? I believe that was a test to see just how committed Paul really was. How could Paul be so ready to be bound and to die (vs. 13)? A nugget is hidden away here.

1.Paul Purposed in the Spirit. [Acts 19:21]

2.Paul Goes Bound in the Spirit. [Acts 20:22]

First Paul “purposes”, (or makes a decision); then he experiences the momentum of that decision. This is what catapulted him into a whole new way of thinking and living. He was literally consumed, and driven by the Holy Spirit. Paul wasn’t the kind of Christian that needed to be prodded. He had been prodded once before, and that was enough for him.

A. APPLICATION
As strange as it seems – the Holy Spirit can direct another Christian to be a roadblock on your path in the race you’re running. Am I going to “stick to my guns”, or am I going to go the way of the coward and say,
“Yeah, well it did kinda seem like a crazy idea…” I need to ask myself this morning… “What decision is the Holy Spirit calling me to make?” Do I realize that this morning could be the turning point in my life which catapults me into such a radical commitment to Christ ? Because I’m a bond-servant of the Lord Jesus Christ – bound by His Spirit – I won’tl be affected by anyone that tries to bind me in the flesh.

P. PRAYER
“Father, it’s my prayer this morning that You would open my eyes to the decision, to the commitment, that You are calling me to make today. I long to be in that place of total surrender where nothing ruffles my feathers, and where all I see is souls, and the finsihed line of my faith. I’ll gladly be bound in the Spirit today! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”