Prayer is a time to commune with God.
In the quietness of prayer, he will make himself known to you.
“In his presence is power. There is power in his presence. Be in his presence everyday.”
Isn’t it better to be rising rather than falling? Perhaps this excerpt, “Risen Life” taken from “God Calling” for April 9th will swing open wide the door of hope for those who serve Him so diligently:
“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is raised upon thee.” (Isaiah 60:1)
The Call comes on this My Day for all who love me, to arise from earth-bands, from sin, and sloth and depression, distrust, fear, all that hinders the Risen Life. To arise to Beauty, to Holiness, to Joy, to Peace, to work inspired by Love and Joy, to rise from death to Life; remember that death was the last enemy I destroyed. So with death my victory was complete. You have nothing then to fear.
Sin, too, is conquered and forgiven, as you live and move and work with me.
All that depresses you, all that you fear, are powerless to harm you. They are but phantoms. The real forces I conquered in the wilderness, the Garden of Gethsemane, on the Cross, and in the Tomb.
Let nothing hinder your Risen Life. “Risen with Christ,” said my servant Paul. Seek to know more and more of that Risen Life. That is the Life of Conquest. Of that Risen Life was it truly said: “I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me.”
Fear and despair and tears come as you stand by the empty Tomb.
“They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.”
Rise from your fears and go out into the sunlight to meet me, your Risen Lord, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.” (Philippians 3:10)
This week, I encourage you to retrace your steps with Jesus, as you continue to minister to others.
I pray the videos “Deliver Me O Lord, Part 1” and “Deliver Me O Lord, Part 2” will encourage you to leave behind that which no longer bears fruit in your life.
Remember the story of Naaman the commander of the Syrian army?
Naaman was a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper.
Naaman was told of a prophet in Israel (his foe) that could heal him of his malady.
The King of Syria sent gifts and a letter to the King of Israel on Naaman’s behalf to have an audience with the prophet, Elisha.
In response, The King of Israel tore his clothing.
When Elisha, the prophet heard that the king had torn his clothing said to him, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come now to me, that he may know that there is a prophet in Israel.”
So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha’s house.
And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean.”
Naaman had a big ego and refused the messenger.
Naaman wanted the prophet to speak to him personally.
He complained about washing in the Jordan stating, “Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?”
Finally, a few of Naaman’s servants convinced him to dip into the water, and Naaman did.
When Naaman came out of the water after the seventh wash, he was clean and made whole.
The miracle working power of God manifested itself and proved to Naaman and others that God can do all things.
Seven is a masterful number and represents completion.
What is that you wish to complete or accomplish in your life?
Is there something or someone you wish to be free of or healed of?
Enter into a time of prayer and meditation, remembering Jesus, as he makes his way to Golgotha.
This is your opportunity to leave everything at the Cross, dip into the water and be made whole! Amen!
Denial is a strong action mixed up with emotion.
What are you in denial about?
One of the hardest things to do, as a servant of God, is to deny anything is wrong.
How do you respond when someone asks you? “How are you?”
Do you lie and say everything is fine?
Perhaps you have taken on too much.
Do you need a break?
There is nothing wrong with taking care of one’s self.
Sometimes what happens when one functions in a ministry position, she/he will take care of others and neglect her/himself.
This is an act of denial and breach of faith with God.
What happens? Murmuring and whining begins.
Hidden stuff remains hidden.
One who is in denial looks for others to blame.
It is always easier to find fault with another than to look in the mirror and see what is wrong with me. Isn’t it?
The alcoholic denies he has a drinking problem.
The drug addict denies he is taking drugs.
The person who has food addictions will hide his/her eating issues. The list goes on and on.
It is not God’s will to become run down, aggravated, agitated, resentful or bitter. This opens the door to other problems. Come back for Part 2 next week!
Many times in the life of the seeker, or the helper we too suffer.
It gives us great comfort to know that our beloved Jesus walked this journey before us, and he understands our personal setbacks and challenges in life.
In Matthew Chapter 16, “From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things.
In his despair, did Jesus wonder when people would get his message?
Jesus predicted his own death three times and each time he was grieved. Why was no getting it?
Also, Jesus was not afraid to show his feelings.
In the Book of John, Chapter 11 it says,
“When Jesus saw her Mary, Lazarus’ sister weeping, and the others, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.
Jesus asked, “Where have you laid him?”
They said to him, “Lord, come and see”. As Jesus approached the tomb it says, “Jesus wept”.
Don’t think these incidents did not grieve Jesus, they did.
Jesus experienced condemnation and began carrying His Cross long before the physical experience happened in his life, because of the people he encountered along the way. Jesus grieved in his experience.
Not only was he prepared to embrace his own suffering, but he felt ours as well.
“What no one ever saw or heard, what no one ever thought could happen, is the very thing God prepared for those who love him.” (1 Cor. 2:9)
Here is a promise from God to sustain us in the midst of any storm:
“I love you from the depth of my being, from infinity. You cannot measure my love for you. It is greater, wider and longer than any measuring stick. I cannot and will not stop loving you”. (Our Table Connection: Breaking Bread Together, page 24)
During this Season of Lent, it is important to dive deep into one’s self, clear away any wreckage or debris, return to the surface washed and new in Christ.
Remember that song, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me?” Sounds good doesn’t it?
How can one truly have peace within, or peace of mind, if she/he has not LET go of EMOTIONS that are TOXIC?
Begin this day to search deep within yourself for any issues of unforgiveness, jealousy, anger, resentment, etc.
Take a deep breath and reflect on this passage from scripture:
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. (John 14:27)
As we continue to look at the deeper things of God during this Lenten journey, we begin in the Book of Ezekiel:
“As for you, son of man, groan; with breaking heart and bitter grief, groan before their eyes”.
Very early, as Jesus began his ministry, Herod decided to behead John the Baptist.
“Now when Jesus heard about John’s death, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard Jesus was in the neighborhood, they followed him on foot from the towns”.
Poor Jesus needed time alone to grieve for John.
It is important to remember that John was the only person, a true kindred spirit who really understood Jesus, the work, and the personal sacrifice of ministry.
Jesus had to grieve John’s death and then go back to work.
Jesus was then and still is the suffering servant of humanity. Jesus grieved a great deal during his ministry.
Can you relate?
Prayer is a necessary component in the life of a believer.
Sometimes, we pray because of a situation or circumstance.
It is more important to pray through a situation or circumstance with God, rather than trying micromanage the drama of life on your own.
Perhaps you are praying about a health issue.
As you think about your health, when did the problem begin?
Is there someone with whom you are angry or bitter against?
Do you carry resentment in your heart?
“The healing of the body is accompanied by repentance and forgiveness of sin.”
Who is at fault?
Who do you need to forgive?
Ponder these questions and come back next week for Part 2 of the “Lenten Journey of Prayer and Forgiveness” as we take a look at the story of Jesus and the lame man found in the Book of John.