What Do You Want?

Some people live to fulfill their wants. It’s as if they were born knowing very clearly what they like, dislike and want. Others find it more difficult to clarify and express their desires. Toward which end of this scale do you lean?

It is unhealthy to be driven by our desires, neglecting the promptings, direction or call of the Lord. It is equally unhealthy for us to be ignorant of the desires God has put within us. It is very important to be aware of our internal desires and learn to bring them to God for His sharpening and supply.

Prayer is the appointed Kingdom means for obtaining what we need. Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8).

Matthew Henry wrote in response to these verses, “Pray; pray often; make a business of prayer, and...

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Take Hold of Your Future

What are your plans for the future? Is there anything you want to accomplish or become? Is there anywhere you want to go or anything you want to do?

Have you given much thought to what God may have planned for you? He prophesied through Jeremiah that He knew the plans He had for the people of Israel. (Jeremiah 29:11) And, He knows His plans for you too. For, “You are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for you to do.”(Ephesians 2:10) He has things planned for your future.

The apostle Paul wrote near the end of his ministry that he was pressing on to take hold of that for which Christ had taken hold of him (Philippians 3:12) God wants us (like Paul) to lean and press into the purposes for which Christ has taken hold of our lives.

We may imagine that Christ takes hold of us to accomplish His work, but God has more than work in store for us. He is primarily after relationship and wholeness. He...

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How to Connect with God

When you hear the words, “Spiritual Disciplines,” what comes to your mind?  For many, feelings of religious striving start to envelope their thinking.  They may have difficulty listing many of the disciplines, but they don’t have trouble experiencing guilt, boredom, dryness or tiredness that the enemy wants to associate with these practices.  Maybe it's just the word “Discipline” that sounds odious.

In reality, spiritual disciplines can be an incredible means of accessing God and experiencing His grace. Maybe it is more comfortable for us to call them practices. They are like maps that point us in the direction of God. They help direct our attention toward Him, and they can bring us a sense of closer proximity.  Some of the practices that many find helpful relate to the Bible (reading, study and/or meditation); Prayer (silence, stillness, solitude, listening, dialog); Reflection (personal awareness, examination of conscience); ...

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Are You Waiting Well?

Do you have anything for which you are hoping or that you are hoping to accomplish in the future?  The waiting can be brutally difficult – particularly if you haven’t practiced waiting and built your capacity to wait.  Waiting is not an American value. We want things … and we want them soon!  However, Scripture indicates that waiting is one of the ways God builds faith and hope in our lives. “Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” (Romans 8:25) Learning to wait patiently builds character and faith. Those who wait, hoping in the Lord will renew their strength. (Isaiah 40:31)

The challenge is not to lose heart while waiting. Sometimes waiting can take its toll on our emotions and bodies. It can even work deep despair into our souls.  “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” (Proverbs 13:12)

Zechariah was a priest two thousand years ago. He had been praying...

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Learn to Be BOTH Still and Active!

One of the great challenges of our day is that hardly any of us are very good at stilling ourselves before the Lord. The good news is that we can all learn to do so. 

There is, however, an additional problem that might surface as we learn to be still. As we behold God’s goodness, experience measures of healing in our souls, and get in touch with our true selves, we have the potential to get stuck. 

Sometimes, we can so enjoy our time with the Lord that we become passive in our faith.

When we learn to receive, rather than strive, we might (unintentionally) forget the value of purposefully pursuing the Lord, and the importance of obeying His direction.

No one means to become too passive or disobedient, but it can happen if we over-prize our experience of Him, rather than our growing relationship with Him.

Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
The verse goes on to say, “I wil be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in...

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Are You Positioned to Hear From God?

What do people mean when they say they “hear God’s voice?” Can everyone hear God? Do people have the same capacity and/or ability to hear the Lord? Does the Lord “speak” more often or more clearly in some places and at some times than others?

The book of 1 Samuel notes, “In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.” (1 Sam. 3:1). Apparently, there are different dispensations regarding the frequency and clarity of God's communication. Approximately 3,100 years ago the people of God were not experiencing much of the revelation of God. Then Samuel was born, and God started communicating boldly through the prophets.

In the New Testament, the book of Hebrews begins, “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through...

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What Do You Want and How Much Do You Want It?

How can you tell how badly someone wants something? There seem to be two primary indicators. First, how hard are they trying to get what they want?  Second, how long are they willing to keep trying?   How much someone wants something is often a function of both factors – intensity and perseverance.

Once, when I arrived at Logan airport late for my flight, the passion with which I pleaded for mercy and help from the airline administrator indicated that I wanted very badly to be placed on that plane immediately. Passion, intensity and the exertion of energy often indicate deep desire.  Sometimes, however, shear hard work is not enough to get what you want; it requires sustained effort over a long period of time.  Lincoln demonstrated, through his unwillingness to give up after repeated political losses and failures, that he really wanted to become president of the United States. From time to time a wall must be struck repeatedly, over a long period of...

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Does Your House Need A Clean Up?

Sometimes the things that seem like they will make our lives easier and more efficient are the very things that can steal our purpose and passion right out from under us.

God’s desire has always been to draw people from all nations into His eternal household. But, “doing church” (or, in this case, "doing temple") got in the way of that purpose in the lives and practice of the people of God. Addressing the people in Jerusalem, Jesus quoted from the book of Isaiah and said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.’” (Mark 11:17) When the people came to make sacrifices at the temple they had to bring animals, or grain or whatever was needed. This proved to be quite an inconvenience for those who had a long way to travel, so they developed a system of exchange right at the temple. People could simply bring money and “buy” what they needed for...

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What To Do When Life Gets Rough

 
 
People say that God will never give you more than you can handle, but I don’t experience that to be true. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations that are way over our heads - and God is in it. God wants you to come to the end of yourself. He wants to break you out of the prison of a closed-system mindset, freeing you toperceive and rely upon the resources of heaven.  This is often a painful and scaryprocess, and it seems new and insurmountable each time it occurs. The faith-fruit, however, that grows through such trials is incredible and expansive.  Paul wanted the believers in Corinth to know just how stretching such an experience was for him, and how prayer and partnership play a crucial role in heavenly faith breakthrough. He wrote,

“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia.  We were under great pressure, far beyond our...
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