Wednesday, May 20, 2009
You are important to God. Your life matters. Your life counts for a lot and God wants to use you now.
It's not about how old you are or how young you are or how qualified you are. It's about being available because God can equip you to do His work, He just needs your availability.
You might not think you have much to offer, I know I wondered what I could do when I started out. I had no clue what I was called to do as a baby Christian. I just had Holy Spirit's love in my heart and I wanted to make a difference. We can all make a difference as we ask Holy Spirit to shed abroad His love in our hearts. (Rom.5:5) Then we move out from that overflow of love into our world, going about our daily business, bringing the sweet fragrance of the Lord with us. We change circumstances and the atmosphere around us because we are carrying His presence on us, which is so totally amazing. (2Cor.2:14)
If you are available, get filled up with Holy Spirit and then move out and watch Holy Spirit use you.
The gifts of Holy Spirit will start to flow. This is completely natural. You might notice that you've got a word for someone or you know how to organize an event or you notice that you are gifted at praying. These are all ministry gifts and they all start with Love.
Some gifts come naturally, and some take more effort. I was asking the Lord for more words of knowledge so I could witness more because not everybody is sick. As I asked the Lord and shared with people the impressions I was getting, I grew in the gift. I also started studying how other prophets functioned in their gifts and learned from their example. I would not worry if you don't have the gift you desire from birth because God will answer you as you seek Him and pursue Him for more to help His people.
You will seek Me and Find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. (Jer. 29:13)
The desires of the diligent will be fully satisfied.(Proverbs 13:4)
We need to desire the gift in order to go after it. If you don't, who will? That is what the Lord told me. He was desperate to have someone who could (and would) lay hands on the sick and pray in public and at work. He wants us to be available to go give someone an encouraging word. This is how we go out and impact people with Jesus. People are tired of being told stuff, they want to see a demonstration of the gospel.
They do not know that they don't have to stay addicted, full of fear, full of bitterness, wondering if this is all they can ever hope for in this life. Jesus is the answer and we (you) can do this. You can be the answer to someone's prayer as you make yourself available. This is not only for the pastors in the body of Christ. God gave the great commission to all the body. Everybody, not just a few. (See Mark 16:15-20)
A big key to being an effective witness is, "Tarry in Jerusalem until you receive power." (Luke 24:49) This is very important. I think a lot of us think we can do ministry running on empty. We all need to fill up our spiritual gas tanks with Holy Spirit every day so we have something to offer people.
One of the best ways I have found to fill up my spiritual gas tank is to just set aside some time every day to just worship the Lord. This works even if you are not a singer because you can speak words out loud. It's all about the words you speak out loud or sing out loud.
Let me give you an example. It's the middle of my day I've got a ten minute break so what am I going to do? I want to worship the Lord I want to enter into His presence so I say something like, "Lord show me how."
I tell Holy Spirit, "I just want to enter into your presence now. I just want to love on You, Lord today. Did I tell you Holy Spirit how much you mean to me today? Did I tell you how much Your salvation means to me today? Did I tell you Holy Spirit that You are the best thing that's ever happened to me? You make my life worthwhile. You are my life. You are my hope and You are my joy and I thank You Holy Spirit for waking up with me this morning. I thank You Lord that You are with me all through my day. I thank You Lord that You are helping me to bring You glory throughout my day."
Now if you just say something like that to the Lord, (out loud) you can feel Holy Spirit all over you like a glove, like a beautiful shawl around your shoulders. If you don't feel His presence ask Him why. Sometimes sin that has not been repented of will hinder us from hearing His voice or feeling His presence.
We were created for fellowship with an awesome God. We can all spend time with the Lord and tell Him how much we love Him. It's like a friendship that grows as we spend time with Him.
Tell Him what He means to you, in your own words. Tell Him how you treasure those little nuggets He gives you or tell him how much you love it when He highlights a verse in the Bible for you. Tell Him how you love to play the blessing game, where you try Bless the Lord and Holy Spirit more than He's blessed you. Tell Him how you long to serenade Him today. Pretend you are Romeo or Juliet, singing your love to Him from a balcony and if you don't know a love song ask Him to give you a special one just for you and Him.
Sometimes I'll ask the Lord what song He would like to hear to bless His heart. Then I'll sing that song to Him and You know what? He always finds a way to bless me back!
These are just a couple of ways that we can enter the Lord's presence so we have something to offer the people around us that we see in our day.
May you spread the fragrance of Him everywhere you go today! (2Cor. 2:14)
Sunday, May 10, 2009
I have been getting a horse ready for sale the last two weeks. It's a lot of work. She (Tina) is not quite three and would like us to believe that she has forgotten everything she learned last fall with the trainer. It takes a lot of time, dedication and vision to see the potential in a horse when they are acting like broncos or spoiled brats. The miracle is that with enough time, patience, training and hard work we can turn them into show winners.
In the same way there is no short cut to fulfilling a dream. They all take time, dedication, a willingness to learn and lots of work.
I think that is what Jesus meant when He asked us to consider the cost before we committed to Him. "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? (Luke 14:28)
What would happen if I quit on my horse? She would never attain her full potential and there's a very good possibility that her life would be cut short. Horses with bad manners, that you can't ride are not good for much.
To me the cost is worth it. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel because my trainer and I have trained a few horses. I know that if I work hard now, in a while she will be more manageable and it won't be so hard next year to get her ready for riding.
Can you see the light at the end of the tunnel? If you work hard can you see a part of your dream coming to pass? I guess the big question is, "What are you willing to go without or do without to pursue your dream?"
I know for me... I have been committing a couple of hours every second day to training plus the additional time of handling, grooming, feeding every day. I do not have time for many things right now, but that is okay, because I have made the choice to do this. When we decide what we will do with our free time it empowers us somehow. It's easier to sacrifice when it's not forced on us by others.
On that note, I am still trying to help a lady with her dream of learning to play the piano. She now knows how to chord a worship song and I am teaching her some music theory along the way.
What I've noticed though, is now that she's realizing how hard it is to play the piano well, she is reconsidering how much she wants the dream. You see, she has three young children and she works and she still wants to read her fiction books every night. As you can imagine... practicing the piano is not happening.
This happens to many people. We start off great but then when we realize that it will take a lot longer than we imagined to achieve our dream, we want to give up. Do not shelve or give up on your dream! Instead, break your dream down into many small steps and figure out what one step you can start on now. Be realistic with your goal setting.
For example, I am going to encourage the piano lady to make some baby sized goals to start with and see how see does with that. It can be a challenge breaking down a dream into manageable, bite-sized pieces, but it can be done. Pursuing a dream, however slowly makes us more alive, more vibrant. Do not let anything or anyone steal your dream because "hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." (Proverbs 13:12) Even achieving the smallest part of a dream gives you courage to keep believing God for more and along the way or journey we become a tree of life to help others pursue their dreams. It is amazing how God changes us and uses us along the way!
Lord Jesus, You are so awesome! Bless this reader as they pursue You and Your dream for their lives!