Ask Anything

Do you imagine God so big that He is too busy for you? Perhaps you feel compelled to handle things on your own so He can spend His time taking care of “bigger” issues. Maybe you know people who are “worse off” than you are, or you think someone deserves His time more than you do.

Don’t believe the lie!

God desires to be there for you no matter how small you think your problems might be. He has endless capacity to do and be—far beyond anything you can imagine.

Imagine yourself the child of a father with endless resources who loves you, wants to provide for you and give you the desires of your heart. There is only one condition—He wants you to ask. You serve a God without limits. He is unrestrained in what He can do for you.

What things are you holding close to your heart today? Your Heavenly Father is just waiting for you to ask for His time, His wisdom, His intervention. He wants to give you the desires of you heart. It’s not a matter of deserving it. You’re His child and like a good father, He wants to do you good!

Open your heart today and relinquish to Him anything you’ve been holding back. He wants to be a part of the answer. Take a moment and invite him to intervene on your behalf today.

In that day you will no longer ask me anything.

Very truly I tell you,

my Father will give you

whatever you ask in my name.

Until now you have not asked

for anything in my name.

Ask and you will receive,

and your joy will be complete (John 16:23-24 NIV).

 

Kingdom Flash Mob – When Will You Be Called to Do Your Part?

Remember when social media filled with posts with video of flash mobs? I haven’t seen one posted in a while, but I remember seeing them more around Christmastime.

Here’s one from a few Christmases past for your viewing pleasure. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QY8Jf-45DzE

A flash mob is a group of people called to a certain place at an indicated time to perform a specified action before diffusing into the crowd. A flash mob gives the appearance of something unplanned, random and unorganized, but is in reality, a beautifully coordinated experience with the right people in their precise places for a staged performance. They appear as a part of the crowd, going about their daily lives, when suddenly they step up and do their part.

Similarly Christians have a part to play in the Kingdom of God. That part is already planned and orchestrated by Jesus, Messiah. The direction and inspiration from the Holy Spirit is already within each person. In response to a question asked by the Pharisees about when the Kingdom of God would come, Jesus said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21).

The revelation Jesus shared when he opened the book of Isaiah 60, read it, and declared the scripture, was one of many flash mob moments during Jesus’ ministry. The Kingdom of God revealed by the Messiah shook people’s reality, angered some and brought life transformation in those who were willing to embrace the Kingdom of God.

Similar to a flash mob, children of God are called together to worship God, to seek His presence, and to be encouraged by His Word. From there we disperse into this world, slipping quietly into our daily lives and await our next opportunity to do our part.

Obedience’s Miracle—The Widow of Zarephath (P3)

My husband, Blaine and I have moved several times. After a few relocations, we realized our “moves” are a part of our pioneering spirit that God put in us … we’re willing to go wherever he desires for us to go. We made that promise the night we prayed for his direction in our lives and marriage (on the verge of divorce). And he answered by sending us to become a part of a worldwide ministry – literally plucking us up and moving us in just five weeks – giving Blaine a new job that would forever change us and our direction in life.

We’ve learned relocation has EVERYTHING to do with the people He brings into our lives – those God wants to position to speak into our lives – and those He puts in our path to speak life and truth to us as well.

There’s more to the Widow of Zarephath’s story. Yes, God sustained her household through the drought, but there is more to her relationship with God’s prophet.

Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house (where Elijah was staying) became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”[1]

She’s angry. She is lashing out in her pain at the man she trusted, the man who God used to perform a miracle. Perhaps she had come to know him well in the time that had passed. She looked to Elijah for answers.

Elijah asks her to give her son to him. He takes the boy from her arms, carries him upstairs to his room and laid him on his bed. He cried out to God and asked that the boy’s life return to him. God heard Elijah and the boy lived once again. He scooped him up and carried him back downstairs to his mother.

Upon seeing her son, the widow said to Elijah, “Now by this I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is the truth.”[2]

Are you open to hear His voice when He speaks through others? Are you willing to be used by God to speak His truth into the lives of others as He leads you?

[1] 1 Kings 17:17-18 NIV

[2] 1 Kings 17:24 NKJV

Obedience’s Miracle—The Widow of Zarephath (P2)

Part 2 of 3

The Widow of Zarephath’s story begins while she is at the gate gathering a few sticks so she can go home and prepare the last little bit of food for herself and her son. In her mind, the end is near. Her plan—without God’s miraculous intervention, which she must have hoped for—she and her son will starve to death.

This woman had nothing for her own family to eat, much less a prophet. Through her obedience, God sustained both of them. Elijah sees the woman that God has told her to meet and asks her for a cup of water. I can just see her acknowledge him and turn to go to get the water. Then behind her, she hears him ask for a piece of bread.

Can you imagine just a little attitude in her response to him? The Message says she said, “I swear, as surely as your God lives, I don’t have so much as a biscuit. I have a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a bottle; you found me scratching together just enough firewood to make a last meal for my son and me. After we eat it, we’ll die.”[1]

This man of God is asking for the last of all she has.

Perhaps she’s wondering…Did God send this man? Do I dare trust him? Do I trust God?

Elijah tells her not to be afraid, but instead, to “Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’”

There it was—there was the promise of a miracle. All she had to do was believe God—the God of Israel—and obey. In that moment she chooses to trust God.

So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke by Elijah.[2]

God sent Elijah to a woman who had nothing so that He could provide for her and her family supernaturally as a result of her faith. As she decided to care for God’s spokesperson, God provided miraculously for her household.

[1] 1 Kings 17:12  MSG

[2] 1 Kings 17:15-16 NKJV

Obedience’s Miracle—The Widow of Zarephath (P1)

Part 1 of 3

God chose to take the life of the prophet Elijah and intertwine it with the life of one widow. Elijah served as God’s spokesperson, the man who stood in front of King Ahab and prophesied “…the next years are going to see a total drought—not a drop of dew or rain unless I say otherwise.”[1] Jezebel, King Ahab’s wife, tried to kill all of God’s prophets. At one point, Elijah thought he was the last living prophet.[2]

Our lives our intertwined for mutual provision and blessing.

Those who worshiped Baal believed he was the god who brought rains and bountiful harvest—so the words Elijah spoke for God were profanity against Jezebel’s god. After declaring no more rain, Elijah hid himself in the Kerith Ravine, east of Jordan where the Lord sustained him with water from a brook and food ravens brought to him.[3] When the brook dried up, God sent Elijah to Zarephath with instruction to look to a widow to sustain him.

The woman, only referred to as the “widow of Zarephath,” demonstrates a powerful faith through her obedience in 1 Kings. The city serves as part of her identification. We can assume she is the only widow in her city. Zarephath rest inside the region of Sidon, the native country of Queen Jezebel, the woman who married the wicked King Ahab and required her god, Baal to be worshiped instead of God Almighty.[4]  We might easily assume this widow is not of Hebrew lineage, but she clearly believed in the Hebrew’s God and trusted Him.

So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke by Elijah (1 Kings 17:15-16 nkjv).

God’s purposes are so much higher and wider than what we imagine. God tells us to go here or there—to do this or that—and it’s easy to think it’s about us. Hopefully we can see it as God positioning us for blessing. While that is often a part of his plan, our eyes usually rest on ourselves, when in fact it has less to do with us and more to do with what he wants to do through our relationships with the people to whom he connects us for a bigger purpose. Our lives our intertwined for mutual provision and blessing.

Who has God sent into your life to help you? Are you looking for God to answer you through the divine connection of relationship He’s placed in your life? What relationships does He want you to cultivate?

[1] 1 Kings 17:1 MSG

[2] 1 Kings 18:22

[3] 1 Kings 17:5

[4] 1 King 21:25-26

Give Him Thanks for His Unfailing Love

#5 of 5 Ways to Step into God’s Rest

Psalm 100:5 says, For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.[1] ALWAYS.

I can’t imagine where I would be today without the unfailing love of God active and constant in my life, and yet, I so often fail to thank Him for it. On many occasions, I am terribly guilty of taking His love for me for granted. Instead of a selfless focus, I choose a selfish focus—and that robs me of a deeper relationship with Him and the daily opportunities to choose to step into His rest.

Which brings us to the fifth way to experience God’s rest:

  1. Give Him thanks for his unfailing love.

Psalm 119:90 says, Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast.[2]

David—a man after God’s own heart—learned to step into God’s rest. He struggled to stay in that rest throughout His life, but he always came back to thankfulness for God’s love. He could step into God’s rest and give Him those thoughts and concerns trusting He would do all He promised.

We can enter his rest because he loves us. His love never fails. No matter what choices we make or what direction we go—He continually and affectionately loves us. There is nothing we can do (or not do) to cause him to NOT love us.

What has God’s love promised you? What are you thankful for? What does it take for you to step into God’s rest?

[1] ESV

[2] ESV

Shout Your Praise – 5 Ways to Step into God’s Rest

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth[1]. Here you and I (as a part of the whole earth) are instructed to make a loud, joyful noise to the Lord. We can’t shout to Him unless we are in His presence. I imagine myself stepping into the presence of God with a blast of worship and praise.

people-festival-party-dancing pexelsAs a cheerleader in high school, I have many memories of the crowd erupting as the team ran onto the field, scored a touchdown or received a good call from the referees. While that can in no way compare to the shout of praise we should have for God Almighty, it’s a picture of a shout of praise.

Maybe the next question is how to shout that for joy. What do you say to Him? He’s God! He knows your heart and mind. He knows your thoughts before you express them, and yet He wants to hear your voice—your praise.

As I read and reread Psalm 100, I underlined the verbs—David’s instruction of ways we can acknowledge God in our lives and rest in Him—

  • shout
  • worship
  • come before him
  • know him
  • enter in
  • give thanks
  • praise His name!

I think verse two expounds on this, telling us how to shout for joy. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.[2] It’s another picture of what our shout of joy looks like. It’s the act of pouring out our adoration, love, respect and devotion—our worship—with all the happiness, delight, pleasure and cheerfulness in His presence.

[1] Psalm 100:1 NIV

[2] Psalm 100:2 NIV