God of the Desert

NEW POST

Let this sink in.

A good friend recently told me, “Sometimes the only way out is through”.

If God is God and he cannot lie, then he is God over everything. He never needs and will never need our help or assistance to be God. He doesn’t need reminder text messages, Evernote, memos, timers or alarm clocks. He’s not a part time lover nor does he take days off. He’s God when there is abundance and he’s God when there is scarcity. He’s God in the mansion and he’s God under the bridge. He’s God in the luxury car and he’s God on bus or bicycle. He’s God when there are thousands in the 401k and he’s God when there are pennies in your pocket.

We are very quick to thank God when we experience the blessings, prosperity, influence, positions with organizations and his favor in our lives, and rightfully so – we should thank him because he deserves our praise. But sometimes we are verrrrrrry slow to thank God in the midst of our lack and desert filled situations. I submit to you today a simple idea that has revolutionary consequences. If you catch this it will change the way you think, live and draw you into a closer relationship with the Lord.

He is God of the Desert

Many times we associate desert like situations with sin or the “plan” that God didn’t have for our lives, after all Scripture says that Jesus came to give us an abundant life. However, there are many instances in Scripture when desert like situations and surroundings had nothing to do with sin, moral decay, bad decision making or something produced by Satan.

Sometimes the “desert” is designed by the Lord who sees the ultimate plan for our lives. He knows where we are, what we need and how we need it in correlation (relationship) to our present circumstances and our future selves, work and impact for Him and his kingdom. Notice, the desert isn’t just for others, collectively – it’s meant to be experienced by us, individually.

Deserts are necessary

I have yet to find someone who loves deserts! No, I’m not talking about a geographical location or even a destination in Africa. A desert by definition is a dry, barren area of land, especially one covered with sand, that is characteristically desolate, waterless and without vegetation. And sometimes our lives and surroundings resemble a desert – they become dry, waterless and lifeless. More, sometimes the things that once brought life, enjoyment and fulfillment have evaporated and become callous. Deserts don’t hold punches or play favorites! They hit you where you are regardless of the color of your skin or bank account.

Deserts have a way of changing the landscape of our hearts, shaping our character and revealing our motives in ways that mountain top experiences can’t. The God of Scripture walked closely with those who experienced desert like situations:

  • Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert after being led there by the Holy Spirit before he launched his ministry in Matthew 4
  • Abraham had just finished worshipping God and went into the desert (Negev) in Egypt to seek help when a severe famine hit the Land God had promised him and his descendants in Genesis 12
  • The Children of Israel where lead into the desert by their leader Moses to experience God’s promise after being freed from Egyptian slavery that lasted 400 years in Exodus 12

Yet, God was with all of them.

Here are some things to think about

  • Deserts are tools that are meant to draw us closer to God
  • Deserts dont last forever
  • Deserts reveal what our hearts yearn for the most
  • Deserts dry up the excuses we have for not seeking God
  • Deserts can make us sensitive to God’s presence and move
  • Deserts allow us to experience God’s super natural provision
  • Deserts help us distinguish needs from wants
  • Deserts prepare us for what’s ahead

Therefore, be encouraged and know that the God who created you is walking with you through your desert. He’ll continue to remain faithful and so himself strong because he can’t neglect himself or his Word. I pray that the Holy Spirit continues to lead you into all truth, comfort and reveal himself to you in new ways. #peace

Love God. Love People.

Scripture: “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
– Mark 12:30-31

This passage of Scripture calls for us to Love God and Love People, in that order. This is an important observation because we sometimes:

  • Mix up our priorities
  • Neglect our love for people
  • And sometimes forget both of them

When we don’t put into action Loving God and then Loving People, in that order the results speak for themselves. Jesus is found in the House of God speaking to the Scribes – a religious group of folk who were fixated on finding fault with him. In context, verses 38 – 40 tell us that this group of religious leaders were more concerned about their posture, clothing, traditions, reputation, greed, sitting in places of influence and being seen by men rather than having their hearts and minds transformed and realigned with God’s purpose by the living words of Jesus. They were so blinded by their religion that they weren’t able to see the Truth standing, speaking, teaching, healing and breathing in their midst. Consumed by their tradition they assumed that God would deliver his people in a different way rather than using a “blasphemer” and lowly carpenter from Nazareth – therefore, they missed God moving and doing a new thing altogether.

The implications of mixing up our priorities, neglecting our love for people or forgetting to do both of them (Loving God and Loving People) can be seen in our culture today.

Mixing Up Our Priorities

We mix up our priorities when we Love People more than we Love God. This practice manifests in a number of ways. Here are a few limited examples:

  • God’s standards are replaced by the cultural standards of those we love. Our perception becomes jaded and darkened with idioms, ideologies and practices that are built on sinking sand and not the rock of the Gospel.
  • People become our Savior. At the very best people can save others from certain circumstances but at the very worst they don’t have the ability, power or authority to save men’s souls from hell. In effect, when we Love People more than we Love God we establish them as our kings, prophets and idols. They speak on our behalf and give us direction for our lives. They occupy the thrown of our heart and God doesn’t take pleasure in being 2nd in line to the thrown – He’s a jealous God. He’s a God who breaks and exposing idols for what they are – limited in love, perfection, mercy, grace, function and not having enough authority or power.
  • Sacred becomes Sacrilege. So now, what was called sin is now patted on the back in the form of empathy, mercy and love. Now, what was deemed holy, right and moral is now backwards, old fashioned, out of touch and even discriminatory in practice.

violation or misuse of what is regarded as sacred. – sacrilege definition

Neglecting Our Love For People

When we Love God and not people the the mission of Jesus is limited to our inability to be about the Great Commission and our Father’s work within the Earth. We become so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good. We lose touch with the spiritual needs of the people we are called to serve and live with. More, one could argue that a person who love’s God and not people can’t Love God.

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. – 1 John 4:20

This idea of not loving people is contrary to the believer’s new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17). Your new nature in Jesus Christ should produce new desires that point back to Jesus. Jesus’ whole mission was to do the will of his Father, connect sinners to God through the forgiveness of sins and then to commission those forgiven people to go make disciples. And in that process we are called to love one another and those who don’t know Jesus as Lord and Savior.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. – John 13:34-35

But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you… – Luke 6:27

 Forgetting to Love God and Love People

A question must be asked when we forget to Love God and Love People, are you saved? Again, we are called to love God with all of our being – body, mind and soul. Meaning, it’s going to take work on our part. Sometimes loving God flies in the face of conventional wisdom and cultural norms. Sometimes loving people calls for you to go the extra mile or to sprinkling our conversations and attitudes with grace. Once we’ve gotten our relationship with God right our relationship with people will fall in line. God will continue to work in us, for our good and his Glory. And once he begins a work, he’ll finish the work.

Questions For Spiritual Formation

  1. Do you Love God the way you say you love him?
  2. Do you Love People the way you say you love them?
  3. Does your love for people, within the context of Biblical Truth, extend beyond your prejudices?
  4. Are you saved (The Romans Road To Salvation)?

 

God Has Put Eternity In Our Hearts

Subscribe To My Youtube Channel Today!

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11

This scripture tells us that our souls have a hole in them that only God can satisfy. Our deepest desires can only be quenched and satisfied by the One who created us.

Romans Road To Salvation

Subscribe To My Youtube Channel Today!

The Romans Road to Salvation can teach you how to share your faith with people who don’t know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It is a method that allows us to see a few things in action:

  1. Why We Need Salvation
  2. How God Provided for Salvation
  3. How to Receive Salvation
  4. The Results of Salvation

The Scriptures that The Romans Road uses are:

Romans 3:23 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 5:8 – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 10:9-10 – because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

Prayer of Salvation also known as the Prayer of Faith

“Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

Resource: http://www.allaboutgod.com/prayer-of-salvation.htm

Pray For President Donald Trump

How do you reconcile what is happening in our World and Culture with our faith in God through Jesus? Is God looking and listening to the cries of his people? How come so many of His called faith leaders, preachers & teachers and those endowed with great gifts and abilities are opposed to one another for the cause of God – as if we know his every move (Even though Scripture records that his ways are not our ways and that some of his plans will continue to remain hidden – Isaiah 55:8-9 and Ecclesiastes 3:9-11)? How come Democrats, Republicans and Independents are brazened with starkly different views for the people of America? And is there a difference between facts and truth, especially when facts become twisted and truth becomes a  blur for the sake and gain of certain people groups?

If the concern is over:

  • Righteousness vs Sinfulness
  • Injustice vs Justice
  • Rich vs Poor
  • Bigotry, Racism, Sexism and Homophobia vs Tolerance
  • Nationalism vs Globalization
  • Black vs White
  • Liberals vs Conservatives
  • White Supremacy and Privilege vs Minorities
  • United States vs Everybody
  • Islam vs Christianity

Then we haven’t scratched the surface or began to chop away at the root causes. It’s easy to point out the symptoms of our societal woes but it’s a lot more difficult to diagnose and prescribe healing and treatment to the disease. Bandaids will no longer work, our country’s fever is coming to a boiling point and something has to give or blow.

It’s also easy to think that we are ALL on the same team – humanely and spiritually speaking.

Scripture records in Ephesians:

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
– Ephesians 6:12 ESV

There is a world we cannot see and it is filled with constant warfare between the powers of darkness and light for dominion of Earth and the souls of men. These powers are very real and if we are not careful we will foolishly fight these spiritual forces of darkness with our human understanding, flesh and blood.

Consequently, I’m convinced we can do more in the way of praying for ALL people, President Trump and our Elected Officials vs cursing, protesting and arguing our points on social media and in our pulpits at the new executive orders that have been handed down. Now, will there be a time for demonstrations and protesting? Yes, because our President isn’t Jesus and he’ll make decisions that don’t have God’s heart at the center. Is there place for peaceful demonstration? Yes, it is embedded in America’s DNA. But my point is, faith in God requires action in prayer.

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

– 1 Timothy 2:1-4

You may or may not agree with everything happening with our current administration and or protests. You may deem the other side unlawful, unconstitutional, bigots, religious zealots, the lost liberal left, self-righteous, deserving and or undeserving. Justice to one group may feel and appear like injustice to another. American to one group may seem un-American to the other. These are very real facts. But the truth is, if we pray we cannot go wrong! When we pray to the God who moves mountains and saves men souls he has a way of reminding us that he still sits on the throne and nothing happens on his watch without his careful eye paying attention to every detail. In addition, this doesn’t mean trials, indifference or tribulations won’t come and try to shake us – they will! On the contrary, we pray so that we’ll lead peaceful, quiet, godly and dignified lives in every way. I believe that prayer changes outcomes, wins battles and transforms the hearts of men more than shouting, cursing and demonstrations. Now, history proves that nonviolent civil disobedience demonstrations have there place. Billions of people wouldn’t have rights if it weren’t for powerful demonstrations.

A Few Powerful Demonstrations Include

  • The 1930 Salt March for Indian independence from England led by Mohandas Gandhi
  • The 1963 March on Washington for racial inequality led by Martin Luther King Jr and other leaders
  • The 1989 Cape Town Peace March led by Archbishop Tutu, Mayor Gordon Oliver and others that fought against apartheid and the tyrannical South African government later freeing a jailed Nelson Mandela

But make no mistake, it starts with prayer. Prayer invites God into our situation to show himself to be God.

More, when we pray for ALL people this is pleasing to God! Now, praying for ALL includes those you do not agree with! Praying for ALL people may include but are not limited to:

  • The white pastor who doesn’t talk about social justice or social engineering but fancy’s himself with concepts and principles of white supremacy
  • The black pastor who only concerns himself with God’s grace and not God’s holiness
  • The rich man who doesn’t bother himself with the poor but only that which pads his pockets
  • The liberal who loves gay civil rights but hates and is intolerant toward your conservative views and rights
  • The politician whose policies oppress the poor, strip widows of help and hurt children but will give his friends tax breaks because they create jobs
  • The immigrant who peaceably lives next door to you and says hello at every opportunity
  • The white police officer who loves black people by show and recognition of his awards in an urban area but is targeted because of his uniform
  • The black male who wears hoodie walking through a residential area with Skittles only to be targeted by a white male whose bizarre behavior has become more and more apparent for all to see that there was something more to this one-sided story

And we pray for ALL people because God desires all men to be saved (The Romans Road) and to come into the knowledge of His truth and not our cultural truth, distorted facts, propaganda, conservative narrative, liberal media and certainly not our alternative facts.

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
And he who wins souls is wise.
– Proverbs 11:30

Therefore, be wise with your time and energy and pray for President Trump and ALL people without delay because lives depend on it – this is bigger than the contrasted list above. It’s about God reigning and ruling in the hearts of his people minus our puny and putrid agendas. This battle is not between flesh and blood but spirit and you have to fight spirit with the Spirit.

What do you say?

Where Will You Go? Jesus Gives Eternal Life

Subscribe To My Youtube Channel Today!

Whom or Where shall we go if Jesus has the words of eternal life? This video explores this idea through 4 types of people in a passage of Scripture found in the Book of John.

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
John 6:68-69 ESV

The goal of this video is to encourage us to examine our hearts and not abandon our posts as believers. The world may appear more convenient and easier to navigate through but it cannot save your soul. All of the people in this passage respond to Jesus in ways that we may be able to relate to today. Which now begs the question, Where will you go?

Jeremiah 29:11 Video

God’s plans for us are good and include so much hope and promise for our now and future. Our participation and obedience is key in laying hold of his plans for our lives. Faith is produced in us when we hear the Word. More, Biblical faith takes it’s cues and action on what God said and not by what our earthly nature says.

Regardless of where you are in your walk with Christ his plans for your life are amazing. I hope you enjoy this video as your learn how vast and great God’s plans are for you!

If you missed the “For I know the thoughts that I have for you” blog post you can find it here.

Subscribe To My Youtube Channel Today!

God’s Plans For Your Life Are DOPE!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

God’s plans for us are always in our best interest, for our good and ultimately His glory (beauty). This staple verse is quoted by Christians across the globe regardless of their denominational affiliation and plainly tells us that God’s thoughts, plans, desires and advice for us are DOPE and AMAZING! More, in context with this passage of Scripture, the prophet Jeremiah lets us know that the Lord’s plans for our lives are ALWAYS greater and broader than our eyes can see.

At the time of this writing, the children of Israel were being enslaved by King Nebuchadnezzar, ruler of Babylon. God allowed them to be carted off into slavery as part of his judgment toward them due to their rejection of him and his word. The plans that the people of God conceived for themselves led them into bondage and away from the One whose plans ultimately mattered. Likewise, we can get so busy and caught up in planning our lives and setting goals that we neglect to ask God what his plans are for our lives. Or once set a course of action without him we’ll ask him to cosign or bless efforts, and I’m pretty sure he’s obligated to do such a thing.

In a general sense we know God is for us and his plans for us are not evil. But in a more specific sense (in context) regardless of where you are in life – whether you’ve made your bed in sin, walk with folk who mean you no good, have made terrible decisions that you’ve regretted, or fell in love with other gods; God’s plans for us are still good. Last, it is not to late to hop on the gravy train of plans he has for your life.

12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile. – Jeremiah 29:12-14

Hindsight is 2020

WE must understand that our “Right Now” and future are better with God than without him. The only thing the people of God had to do was look back at their history and see that the very God who brought them out of Egypt and supernaturally led them through the desert to the Promise Land was the same God who had more in store for them than their “Right Now”.

When I look back over my life
And I think things over I can truly say that I’ve been blessed
I’ve got a testimony

– Rev. Clay Evans

Don’t Neglect the “Right Now”

Your “Right Now” is an important part of the process because it points to the reality that where you are today is a direct result of the decisions you’ve made. Decisions are sparked by thoughts and plans that produce and set the course for your life. Your “Right Now” should be a place that leads you closer or back to the God you left for the smokescreens of greater riches, things, other gods and people.

Turning from your ways to His ways

God has some DOPE stuff waiting for us! But the passage calls us to repent, pray and seek him with everything that is within us in order to experience those DOPE plans. The result of this course of action sets the stage for God to:

  1. Bend his ear toward Earth and hear us
  2. Make himself real to us again so we can see him as he his
  3. Restore our fortunes and the things we lost
  4. Piece back together what was broken
  5. Break us out of Bondage

My prayer is that we’d trust his will and plans for our lives more than the plans we’ve declared for ourselves.

Experience his DOPENESS. You can also check out the “For I know the plans I have for you” video here.