Monday, September 26, 2011

A Gateway of Release

In his book “A Prayer Journey with the Apostle Paul,” author Michael Green refers to prayer and communion with our Heavenly Father as a “gateway of release.” What a refreshing thought. Our Father God invites us to come to Him in prayer on a routine basis “casting all of our cares” upon Him (I Peter 5:7). He wants us to literally release everything to Him whether it is our fears, anxieties or simply our over abundant joys and adventures.

With the promise of release, restoration, and communion with the Father, why is it that we often refuse to go to God in prayer? Sin. We allow the enemy to use our sin to fill our hearts and thoughts with guilt and shame. We convince ourselves that God wants nothing to do with us and our filth, but this is a lie from Satan. Yes, we are sinners, but as followers of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven and washed clean. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9).

Romans 8:1-2 tells us, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Christ’s bloodshed on the cross gives us the freedom to run to the Father in prayer seeking His forgiveness and grace. There is nothing to stop us from sitting before His throne in prayer. Open up, speak up, and allow time of communion with the Father to be a time of release and restoration in Him.
Originally appeared at JesusBoatMuseum.com

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Waiting on the Counsel of the Lord

Summer is coming to an end and before long fall will arrive. I can already feel the hint of a cool breeze teasing the summer humidity. The seasons are changing and so are the desires of my heart. It happens this time every year. God designed the earth to change with time and He did the same with each of us. None of us are ever meant to stay in one place (whether physically or spiritually) for too long. We are always on the move, reaching out and growing more towards Him.

Sometimes the Lord fulfills the changes my heart desires with a simple break from the everyday routine. Other times I find myself wanting to make a bigger change. I seek counsel from the Lord, but the desire to discover an immediate plan is overwhelming. It’s funny how lessons in waiting and patience coincide with our longing to make a move of some kind. Proverbs 19:21 (NIV) says “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” or as the KJV versions says, “…the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.”

My heart and mind is filled with new ideas, possibilities, and all kinds of adventures. If I were to act on my own impulses I would end up running in a hundred different directions without ever arriving at a destination. When we wait on the Lord and seek His counsel, which is both sure and direct, then we will find our feet on His appointed path arriving at His chosen destination. Not only that, but His chosen destination will be so much more than our hearts could ever have imagined! (Ephesians 3:20)

Originally posted at JesusBoatMuseum.com

Monday, September 12, 2011

Wisdom from Proverbs 2

A new school year has begun here in the U.S. Over the weekend, local retail stores were packed with parents and children buying school supplies. Shopping bags were filled with new back packs, books, pencils, pens, and notebook paper. Young children carried crayons and markers while older teenagers picked up computer disks and calculators. A new year of learning has begun and parents are making sure their children have everything they need to make the school year one filled with learning and growth.

Seeing all of the school supplies made me stop and realize that a child can possess all of the school supplies in the world and still not possess wisdom. Unless the child knows how to use those tools he won’t be able to move forward and gain understanding and knowledge.

We do the same in our walk with the Lord. We go to church and spend time reading the Bible and fill ourselves with as many spiritual supplies as possible. Yet, if we don’t know how to use those tools then how can we expect to grow in our relationship with God? All the time in church and in the Word of God won’t move us towards His path unless we know what to do with what He has given us.

Proverbs 2:1-5 says, “My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding – indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God” (Proverbs 2:1-5).

Originally appearing at JesusBoatMuseum.com

Monday, September 5, 2011

...With All Your Heart

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

There’s a lot of wisdom packed into these verses. This morning; however, the phrase “with all your heart” seemed to jump out at me more than the rest. I thought of a little girl telling her father that she loves him with all of her heart. The child doesn’t understand the depth of what she’s saying except that at that moment in time she loves her father more than anything else in her life. It’s a pure and honest declaration with no added exceptions or limitations.

Our Heavenly Father asks the same of us. He asks that we come to Him in childlike faith and trust Him with all our heart. In Psalm 20:7 the Psalmist writes, “some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord.” When Moses led the children out of Egypt the Egyptian army chased after them. At the Red Sea, Moses and the Israelites trusted the Lord to lead them to the other side and they lived. The Egyptians trusted the power of their own selves, their horses and chariots and they drowned.

Trusting the Lord is a humbling action that tells Him we are willing to give Him our lives to lead and direct. We may not understand the depth of what we’re saying, but like the little girl, we know that in life there is no better choice than to trust our Father above all else. 

Originally appeared at Jesusboatmuseum.com