Tag Archives: Holy Spirit

Spirit of the Living God we just wanna hear Your voice. We’re hanging on every word…

20 Feb

I wonder how many of us can truly say this. How often do we come to God with our requests but never stop to listen to what He has to say to us? I know I am guilty of it. I am in such a hurry with the trivial things of life that I don’t make time to sit and listen to what the Lord has to say to me. I am ashamed to admit that, but there is also a sense of freedom in that admission.

I want more and more of God. I want to hang on His every word. I want to sit and simply listen to Him, and I want to let Him speak life into me. I know that I can’t continue without Him doing so. I am committing to seeking after God more earnestly in times of prayer. I don’t mean simply praying more. I mean praying more intentionally, and carving out time to sit and listen. Why are we so afraid of silence as a culture? (That’s a topic for another post) I want to be cognizant of making sure that I am using the time I have wisely. And what more wise use of my time than to sit and let the Lord speak over me?

What is keeping you from spending time with the Lord and hanging on His every word? Is it the television? Is it some form of social media? Whatever it may be, it’s not more important than talking with the Creator of the universe. Take time to listen to Him today.

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Hello my name is Child of the One True King

12 Feb

I’m a dad. I’m a husband. I’m a son. I’m a brother. I’m a friend. I’m a singer. I’m a musician. I’m a worker. I am all of these things, but these things are not who I am or where my identity is found.

When I was nine, I felt the Holy Spirit calling me to Himself in a way that I had not before. I heard the gospel of Christ and God opened my eyes to see my deep need for a Savior. It was that day in August of 1993 that I gained my identity. I became identifies with Christ through His life, death, and resurrection. Now that doesn’t mean that any of the things I mentioned above, and many more for that matter, were eradicated, but they did change. Yes all of those things are true of me, but my identity is not on them. If any one of those things were to be no more, while it would be gut-wrenching to not have that as a part of my life, my life would not be over. Yes I would be sad, but again those things are not my identity. My identity is in Christ.

1 John 3:1a says, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” For those who have been drawn to Christ through the wooing of the Holy Spirit, we gain the right to be called the children of God. WOW! A child of the one true King. That is amazing!

In Galatians 3:27-29 Paul writes, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.” Those of us in Christ have a new name tag, if you will. We have put on Christ and we are identified in Him.

So here is the challenge. No matter what the world tries to say you are, if you are in Christ then you belong to Him. And you can proudly say, “I’m a child of the one true King!” Remember that circumstances and situations do not define who you are.

May We All Cling to the Vision of Christ

18 Jun

Vision.  It is something that can difficult to find.  It is something that is absolutely necessary. It is something that, at times, can be downright elusive.  It is something that you must have as a leader.  It is something that people need.  It is something that we must cling to even when there is no tangible evidence of it.  Vision.

Proverbs 29:18 teaches us, “Where there is no vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.” When there is no vision, or prophetic teaching, present then the people become ungovernable or rebellious.  I think it is vitally important, though, that we take this down to an individual level and not just stay up at a corporate level.  If I am not clinging to the vision that God has placed in my heart through the Holy Spirit, then I am blowing in the wind and tossed about as I go through life.  Each follower of Christ is imbued with a vision of purpose and calling at the point of salvation.  Now certainly, it may, and usually is not, immediately be completely clear.  However, rest assured that as you grow in your walk with Jesus, the vision of Christ will become more and more clear to you. You will begin to understand new facets and components of what God has uniquely gifted you as His adopted son or daughter to do.

This is the point at which you face a life-altering decision.  Jesus will call each of us out of a comfort zone at one point or another.  It is possible that He will call you out of your comfort zone on multiple occasions.  So, will you stay true to what is familiar and comfortable, or will you take the step of faith and get out of the boat as Peter did to go after Jesus?  

It’s not always easy.  In fact, it usually isn’t easy.  However, if we follow after the Lord, we will be in the best place possible.  It is when we are following after the Vision of Christ in our lives that we will be most stretched, most pushed, and most challenged in our faith, but it is also when we will most grow, develop, and advance in our walk with Him. And if God has placed a vision in your heart and promised to lead you in a certain direction it will come to pass.  Habakkuk 2:2-3 reads,

“Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.  For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end – it will not lie.  If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.”

So, what will you do? Will you stand frozen in fear of leaving what is comfortable and familiar, or will you follow after the vision that God is calling you to in Him?

I need you. Lord, I need you…

30 Jan

I’d like to pose a question.  Here it is: If the power of the Holy Spirit DID NOT move in our worship services, would anyone know or recognize the difference?  I read this in a book the other week, and I was immediately cut to the quick.  I had to begin to wonder if this was true in our services at our church.  Are we, am I, more concerned with the service itself, the songs themselves, the sound, or the atmosphere in the room that I lose sight of the only thing that really matters?  It has affected the way I plan a worship service each week.

Think of how vitally important the Holy Spirit is in everything that we do as Christians.  Without the Holy Spirit to guide us, we are lost when it comes to how to interact with God the Father.  My mind is taken to the words of Moses in Exodus.  Moses has already been up on the mountain to receive the 10 Commandments once.  He came down the mountain to the sight of all the Israelites worshiping the Golden Calf.  He breaks the first tablets from God and punishes the people according to what God commands.  He goes back up the mountain and receives a second set of tablets.  At this point, God commands Moses to gather all of the people of Israel and leave from Sinai.  Moses and God then have this conversation:

Moses said to the Lord, “See you say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me.  You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ Now therefore,, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight.  Consider too that this nation is your people.” And [God] said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” And [Moses] said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here.  For how shall it be known that I have found favor in you sight, I and your people?  Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”

It is God’s presence that makes us, as Christians, unique from every other people on the face of the earth.  If God’s presence is not with us when we gather for worship to sing, read Scripture, and hear the Word preached, then we are doing it all for nothing.  Our songs are just songs.  The words are just words.  If God’s presence is not with us, if the Holy Spirit does not move, then we are simply singing and preaching for no reason.  However, when the presence of God is there, when the Holy Spirit moves, it is a glorious thing that happens.  Humans can commune with the Creator of the universe.  Simple people can interact with Almighty God.  Lives and destinies can, and are, changed for eternity.  When God shows up, in the form of the Holy Spirit, things are drastically different to the Glory of God the Father!

I pray for God’s Holy Spirit to descend on each of our services every week.  Because I want to take the position that Moses takes, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here.”

You’re the one that I want…

18 Jan

Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat, I have an awesome wife!  We just all have to go ahead and agree on that, cause it’s the truth.  That being said, I think I need to tell you a little about her.  She is, quite simply, amazing! She is an awesome friend, a great mother to our children, a throw down chef, and a good teacher.  She is truly my helpmate, and exhibits the characteristics of a Proverbs 31 woman.

My desire is that I can be the husband back to her that God has called me to be.  Paul lays it out for me in the letter to the Church at Ephesus when he writes, 

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
(Ephesians 5:25-33 ESV)

I want to love my wife sacrificially.  I want to put her before myself.  I want to encourage her and lift her up.  I want to help her to grow into the follower of Christ that God has called her to be.  However, the fact of the matter is that I can’t do those things for her.  But, Christ in me can!  Thank God for sending His Spirit to help me (and all Christians for that matter) to be the people that He created us to be.  I pray that through the power of the Holy Spirit I can be the husband that She-Wood needs.  She is a wonderful woman, and I love her madly.  I want to honor her as my wife and the mother of our children by being the type of husband that is described in Ephesians.

I keep on waiting for the world to change…

17 Jan

Last night She-wood and I watched the documentary, “Waiting For Superman.”  It is a great film about the failing educational system in the United States.  It addresses the fact that there are major problems in the education system that have caused the United States to fall behind nearly all other developed nations when it comes to competency of students in math, reading, and science.  Throughout the film it follows the efforts of several pioneers in the education realm who have decided to work to try to change the way things are for students across the country.  They have made huge strides in the somewhat confined areas where they are working.  They have seen literacy and comprehension rates rise significantly and graduation rates are up sharply as well.  However, when they try to take there methods out into the education system at large they are met with disdain, opposition, and dead ends.  They are on the cutting edge of their craft, and yet they are being dismissed by the establishment because they are doing differently from how they have always been done.

I could not help but draw a comparison to the way things are at many churches.  There are people who are trying to follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit, and they are trying to be innovative in the way they reach people for Christ.  However, they are met with opposition, disdain and dead ends from the “establishment” that does not want to have things changed.  The problem is that while the “establishment” doesn’t want things to change there are people who are dying and going to hell that are not being reached by a church that is using outdated and ineffective methods to share the gospel.  Why is it that pioneers who are trying to advance whatever it is that they are trying to advance are usually met with opposition from the “establishment” that they are trying to help?  Are churches so caught up in making things comfortable for themselves that they have lost their zeal for the gospel?  The early Christians understood how great the gospel was and they were willing to, literally, give their lives in order to share it and make it better.  Has the church gotten so caught up in being “the establishment” that it has forgotten why Jesus created the church in the first place?

It is time for the Body of Christ to get lost in the excitement of the gospel again!  That means that Christians of all ages are willing to do whatever it takes to reach those around them who have yet to respond to the gospel of Christ.  It invariably means that there will be points in time where every member of the body of Christ will be incredibly uncomfortable, but that is a good thing!  God has not called us to comfort.  He has called us to service, and that means that there will be times when the Holy Spirit leads us to do things that are outside of our comfort zone.  Of course, there will be times when we are met with walls from “the establishment,” but it is at those times that we should look all the more to Christ and follow His leadership to reach the world with the gospel.

I challenge you to be a pioneer for the gospel of Christ wherever you may be.

On earth as it is in heaven

15 Sep

A. W. Tozer once wrote, “God has not finished with His saints till He has brought them to a place where they honor Him on earth as He is honored in heaven.”  What a high task that has been placed before us!  This statement begs the question, how is he honored in heaven?  Well, John gives us a quite vivid picture of what that looks like in Revelation 5:11-14.  There we read,

“Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”  And I heard every creature in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”  And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.”

Can you even imagine?!  What a scene that John has painted for us!  To have gotten to glimpse that for even a second must have been altogether glorious and terrifying at the same moment.  Now, how do we bring that about here on earth?  We have to be empowered by the Holy Spirit in order to do so.  You see, Christ’s beauty was too much to simply stay with one ethnic people in Israel.  In Isaiah 49:5-6 we read, “And now the LORD says, he who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him; and that Israel might be gathered to him – for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD, and my God has become my strength – he says: “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

This is how we bring about God’s honor “on earth as it is in heaven.”  We are to be a light to the nations and spread the beautiful gospel to the people whom we come into contact with each day.  This is how we spread the glory of God throughout the world.  Tozer said, “He can honor us only when He knows that His glory is safe in our hands.”  Oh that He would deem my actions adequate for protecting His glory in my life as I share it with others.

I challenge you to live a life that is worthy of being honored by God as you honor Him by spreading His glory throughout the world as you share the gospel with others.