Key to Abraham

As we continue in our series out of Genesis, the book of beginnings, we journey with Abraham to see see how God transformed him and how God can restart our faith and transform us too.

I love how real and how raw Abraham was.  I love how God worked through his imperfections.  And despite Abraham’s flaws, there was something that set him apart; something that moved the heart of God, attracted favor, and released the miraculous.

What was it!?  What is the key to Abraham’s life?  As you listen to this message may you see how you can imitate Abraham and position yourself for deeper friendship with God and supernatural intervention from Him in your life.

Enjoy!

The Praise Breakthrough

Often just when we start making some progress, resistance comes.  Often after revival, comes backlash.  We can be tempted to be discouraged, but the Lord is reminding us that our victory is on our lips, that praise is the way to breakthrough.  So don’t worry; worship.  Don’t back down; Bless the Lord.  Don’t give up; give Him glory!

Be reminded through some powerful testimonies that as you worship, God is moving.  He is going before you, fighting for you, giving you victory.  Praise Him!

Enjoy!

 

Costly Worship

There is no worship without sacrifice.  Think about it!  It is all over the Bible.  God is honored when we worship Him in a costly manner.  Even David knew this and said, “I will not give to God that which costs me nothing!”

In these messages we continue to learn that we are called to minister to God and discover what blesses God.  Let God draw you deeper.

Enjoy!

Ministering to the Lord

We are not only called to minister for the Lord but to the Lord. Our primary calling is to know and love God.  In fact, we find our identity and purpose when we put Him first and honor Him.

In these messages, the Lord is teaching us what blesses Him.  We often think of our own needs and wants; but do we really consider what God wants?  Let God draw you deeper.

Enjoy!

The Gift of Joy

The joy of the Lord is not the joy of circumstance or the joy of emotions.  The joy of the Lord, the joy of our salvation, is a gift from God beyond this world.  It is resurrection joy that defies circumstances.  It is joy before you see the results.  It is the victory before the victory.  Receive the joy of the Lord in this inspiring, prophetic message.  Let Jesus give you joy by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Enjoy!

Breaking The Yoke of Debt Part 6

In this series of messages, God has been preparing our heart to receive His promised blessings.  The breakthrough God is working in us is for our financial life as well as every  other area of our lives.  In order to prepare us, God has been breaking “yokes” in our hearts: greed, lust, complacency, and unbelief.

In this message, God is calling us to SING OUR WAY TO VICTORY!  I believe the Lord is calling us to rise up and sing, rejoice, shout in faith before we see the breakthrough.  The victory always begins on the inside.  Faith sees and sings before the answer comes, before the breakthrough happens.

Enjoy and sing your way to victory!

Return To Where You Began

Have you received a promise and rejoiced?  and then after the promise came hardship and delay?  Did you struggled in faith?  Well, you are not alone.   And just like Abraham, the father of our faith, you can return to where you began.

Abraham was called by God to leave his family, his comfort zone, and his financial safety net. He left everything because he heard God and trusted in His promises (Check out Genesis 12 and Hebrews 11 for more of the story).

When Abraham arrived in the land of Canaan he heard God say, “To your descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar as an act of worship to God. This altar was a symbol of his faith—of his joy, his gratitude, his confidence, his resolve to follow God.

This altar was a symbol of his faith—of his joy, his gratitude, his confidence, his resolve to follow God.

But then Abraham was confronted with an economic crisis, a drought and famine. After the promise came hardships and delay.  Abraham struggled in his faith. His character was tested. Abraham went down to Egypt where it was safe. He lied, putting his wife in danger, to save his own skin.  Hint: don’t follow that example. 

But after his failure came restoration. Genesis 13 describes Abraham’s return: he came out of Egypt and returned “to the place where his tent had been at the BEGINNING, between Bethel and Ai, to the place of the altar which he had made there at FIRST. And there Abram called on the name of the Lord (Genesis 13:3-4).”

“…to the place of the altar which he had made there at FIRST.” -Genesis 13:4

Did you see that!? He returned to where he BEGAN. He returned to the place he had FIRST built an altar. He went back to the place God had spoken, to the place he believed God, to the place of joy, of confidence, of resolve, of thankfulness. He returned to faith.

Do you need to return to faith? Do you need to remember what God has promised you? Do you need to remember joy, confidence and thankfulness? Do you need to return, rebuild an altar of faith, worship and call on God’s name?  Well, you can. Just like Abraham you can return to where you began.  God’s mercy is new today. He is waiting for you to turn to Him, and cry out for His help.

And here is a good place to begin: like Abraham, be “strengthened in faith, giving glory to God (Romans 4:20).” Worship.  Boast about God.  Praise Him.  Find His promises in the bible and shout, “Thank you!”

 

 

 

 

Psalm 23

Psalm 23 was not written on a green hillside on a peaceful day; it was written in a dark cave on a frightening day.

1The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.2He makes me to lie down in green pastures;He leads me beside the still waters.3He restores my soul;He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,I will fear no evil;For You are with me;Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;You anoint my head with oil;My cup runs over.6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life;And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

Often, because of the wonderfully comforting words David sings to God in Psalm 23, we imagine he wrote it on a green hillside, on a sunny, peaceful day while watching sheep feast on grass. Descriptions like “green pastures” and “still waters” and statements like “restore my soul” cause us to see this picture David is painting with his song and release inside of us the same comfort he was experiencing while he sang.  

We image these words were penned during his boyhood years as a shepherd of his father’s sheep, as he spent many days and nights alone, contemplating and singing. We believe the song flowed from a heart full of youthful innocence and optimism.

But by doing this we miss the power of Psalm 23. By looking closely at Psalm 23 we observe that David was not on a green hill side but inside a dark cave. He was not a youth but a fugitive. He was not inexperienced at the crises of life. He had been betrayed, lied about, and attacked. He had lost everything. He was afraid for his life. Psalm 23 is a manifesto of patient faith sung during a dark time in David’s life. It is an anthem of hope. When we place this bright Psalm in its dark context it shines even brighter–the words more comforting, the example more compelling. 

David describes himself as walking through the valley of the shadow of death–a clear allusion to the physical desert he was hiding in, the threat to his life, and the emotional weight bearing on his soul. He says that he is the presence of his enemies.  He did not have enemies before King Saul tried to kill him.  When he says, “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life” he is using a play on words. “Follow” is best translated “pursue”.  It is a word used of hunting someone or something to destroy it. It is a word used to describe persecution. This declaration, like the rest of the Psalm, is a faith-filled defiance of his circumstances. David is experiencing lack, but he declares that God is his shepherd and lacks nothing. David is emotionally raw, but he declares God makes him lie down, gives him rest and restores his soul. He doesn’t know what to do or where to go, but he declares God will guide him. His life is being threatened, but he declares God is with him and comforts him. His enemies–an angry, jealous, crazy King Saul and his army–are pursing David in the desert, but he declares that God delights in him. Can you imagine someone hating you, lying about you, attacking you and trying to end your life? David was innocent; he had done nothing to warrant this attack. In the midst of rejection and loss, he declares God loves him and enjoys him. Though a crazy man is trying to kill him, David declares God’s promise and plan for his life will win. He is implying, “This man might be chasing me, but God is chasing me too. And God, not this man, will catch me. His goodness and mercy, his love, his blessings, his promises, his plan, his commitment to me will catch me, consume me, and characterize my life!”

Psalm 23 is powerful because David is declaring the exact opposite of what he is experiencing. Without denying his precarious state, he boasts about his God, defying his circumstances with the declaration of God’s promises for his life. He is not a green hillside, but a dark cave. 

  • He declares he has no lack because he was hungry and alone.
  • He declares God is with him because he is scared for his life.  
  • He declares God’s delightful fellowship because he is being rejected and attacked by his King and father-in-law.
  • He declares the goodness and mercy of God pursues him because he is being pursued by a man who wants to end his life, terminate his calling, and rob his blessings. 

He is assuring himself that God is with him and for him; that, even if others reject him, God delights in him; that, in the end, God’s good promises will win out in his life. Whether financially or relationally, physically or spiritually, emotionally or practically, David is placing his trust and hope firmly in the Faithful One’s hands.  

We have, in many of David’s Psalms (and especially Psalm 23), a perfect example of how faith responds to trials, delays, setbacks, disappointments, and life threatening situations. This is what it means in 1 Samuel 30 that David “strengthened himself in the Lord” in response to tragedy. This is costly worship. Faith boasts about God. Faith does not deny circumstances but it sure does defy them. Circumstances have a way of preaching to us, of boasting that they will defeat us. David knew how to overcome. He models for us that we need to preach to our hearts and to our circumstances by boasting about our God. We need to declare that our God is bigger than our circumstances. This is how to be people of faith, of worship, who overcome and see the fulfillment of God’s promises and plan in our lives.  

So boast about your God. Declare what God will do for you.

I do not lack; because I have God, I have everything I need. If I have nothing, but I have God, I lack no good thing.  God is my comfort, peace, and rest. I will not fear.  Though I am emotionally raw, God restores me. He is the strength of my soul, the strength of my emotions, my confidence, my rock and refuge. God is with me; I am not alone. He will guide me.  God delights in me. Even if others reject me, God loves me and enjoys me. God will bless me. His plan for my life will win. His goodness and mercy, his blessing and promises, his love and faithfulness will characterize my life. And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever!