Sunday, February 27, 2011

Miracles Still Happen

Today in our morning service, we were privileged to hear from three of our members. With voices of faith each one came to the microphone and shared how God performed an incredible miracle in their lives. One was healed of cancer; another was healed of a crippling handicap and the last one told how God had provided milk for his baby during an hour of overwhelming desperation. These testimonies inspired the body and created such a sense of worship. Too often we are captivated with the spirit of Gideon which cries out "if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of." Granted there are times when we pray and face the problematic; we believe and face barrenness; we make declarations and wrestle with despair. During these seasons we are tempted to yield to the flesh and accept our natural view of things. However, there is no greater season than the present. These are the days of opportunity. Let us maintain our faith in the word and the integrity of our God, because MIRACLES STILL HAPPEN!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Elephant and the Mouse

Have you ever heard the illustration of the elephant and the mouse who were best friends. They hung out together all the time, the mouse riding on the elephant’s back. One day they crossed a wooden bridge, causing it to bow, creak and sway under their combined weight. After they were across, the mouse, impressed over their ability to make such an impact, said to the elephant, “We sure shook up that bridge didn’t we.” This story describes the nature of God and humanity in a nutshell. When facing the challenges of life there is the tendency for man to somehow think he is the one shaking the bridge. Greater still is the fact that God in His infinite wisdom allows man to make such an assumption. Why does He do this? It's all about allowing us to save face. Although omnipotent, God wants to give us the impression that we have played a part. However, when the dust settles and we look back over our achievements in life, the only sensible conclusion for us, is to admit that it was all God. While he may have used our hands he did not use our head. He may have entertained our plan but not our power. He leaves that to Himself. So we must always remember it's all about Him and when the bridge shakes, He's the elephant and we're the mouse.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Help is Available

Have you ever been parasailing? A few years ago while on a cruise to the Caribbean a friend and I thought we would try it. The day arrived for our big adventure. We arrived at the beach were given some instructions and strapped in for the ride. For those of you who are not familiar with this mode of entertainment, parasailing is an activity where a boat pulls you off the beach into the air while connected to a parachute. You are taken about 200 to 300 feet in the air over the ocean which allows you to enjoy the beautiful sights below. After about ten minutes you are slowly brought back down to the beach. Our experience was wonderful. We took off and landed without a glitch in the process other than getting our feet a little wet. Our trip was a success because we had trained people in the boat that knew how to take us up into the upper heaven, let us look around and then set us back down at the proper designated place. One of the words used for prayer or better still “intercession” is "paga" which means “to light upon.” It involves landing on or coming to a certain place. In connection to prayer it means that we “chance upon” or “happen upon” a place while engaging in intercession. In order to do this as was the case with my parasailing experience we need a professional to help us. Jesus in John 14:26 informs us that our professional is the Holy Spirit. The word Helper used in this passage is Parakletos and means one called alongside to aid, help, or support. There are times when we struggle feeling as if our prayers are going no where. We question whether or not they are hitting their target. However, when we allow the Spirit to help us, He is able to direct our prayers causing them to "light upon the right person and the right place at the right time." If you're like me more often than not you feel an inability to produce results in your prayer life. When this happens, I call upon the assistance of my "helper" knowing that when I allow Him to intercede with me, my prayers bring results. What a consolation it is for us to know that help is always available.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Prayer: It's Simply Rebellion

Normally when we think of rebellion it's not good. The mere thought of it brings images of children, friends or co-workers, who are acting out in some negative way. Most of the time it involves distorted facial expressions, physical gestures and unspeakable language. But is it possible that there is an aspect of rebellion that is good? Jesus thought so. In Luke 18 He introduces a woman who faces an adversary and comes to a judge asking him to avenge her. If you remember the story you know the judge refuses to do so but finally grants the request because this little lady would not give up. In essence she refused to accept things the way they were because she believed her situation could and would change. Jesus compared her experience to petitionary prayer. Thus He said, "men ought always to pray and not faint." Is it possible that prayer can be considered rebellion? One author defines is as such by stating, "It is in essence, rebellion-rebellion against the world in its fallenness, the absolute and undying refusal to accept as normal what is pervasively abnormal. It is, in this its negative aspect, the refusal of every agenda, every scheme, every interpretation that is at odds with the norm as originally established by God." This kind of praying is based on the premise that God can change things; life can be otherwise and it ought to be. With this in mind why not face your adversary by taking your liberty and doing some rebellious praying.