Friday, January 29, 2010

Proclamation Scriptures of Provision

Prayer Meeting – January 29, 2010 p.m. – Argentine

Jesus laid the foundation for proclaiming what God has already proclaimed. In Luke 4:18-19 "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD." Jesus then tells His disciples (and us) Matthew 18:18-20 "Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 "Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them." So, Let us declare GOD, MY PROVIDER by PROCLAMATION AND PRAYER

Lord, You declare in Your Word in Genesis 22:14, “And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, "In the Mount of The LORD it shall be provided.”

Father, Jehovah-Jireh, is one of Your Holy names. It means “Jehovah sees”. You saw Abraham needed a substitute for his son, Isaac. You became His Provider. Oh Lord, see that I need a Provider. You provided Abraham and Isaac with a ram. You have provided me, Jesus Christ. You have saved me, forgave me, and set my feet on a path to eternal provision. I want to thank you for your act of mercy and grace upon my life. Paul declares and I declare along with Him 2 Corinthians 8:9, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” Jesus has made me rich in all things both spiritually and physically. Now, I need you to “see” me, My Provider. See the areas of my soul that need Your provision. See the areas of my physical life that needs Your financial blessing. See the areas of my church that needs Your provision. See the areas of my brothers and sisters in Christ that need Your provision. Just as You provided the ram for Abraham, provide for Your people in this time of economic crisis. You are able to make us prosper when everyone else is depressed.

Father, Solomon declared in Proverbs 13:22, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.” What wealth of sinners have you laid up in store for us, you righteous people? Show us this blessing.

David declares in Psalm 37:25, “I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.” You have not forsaken me. I am not without a house, food on my table, and clothing on my back. You have told me not to worry about those things, but in turn to seek You and Your Kingdom first.

I ask that Paul’s prayer for the church at Philippi would be Your declaration to us that YOU, “…God shall supply all your [MY] need according to His [YOUR] riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 Through Christ you have given me everything I need. Help me receive it. Pour it out upon me. I am seeking Your Kingdom. My heart seeks for and longs for revival. I am asking for 100 souls to be saved and then discipled into the Kingdom. I am asking that your people be blessed with miracles, signs, and wonders.

Lord, forgive me for robbing You. I have robbed You of blessing me many times because I have tied your hands. I have tied your hands because I don’t trust Your Word when it says in Malachi 3:10-12, “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this," Says the LORD of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. 11 "And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field," Says the LORD of hosts; 12 "And all nations will call you blessed, For you will be a delightful land," Says the LORD of hosts.” Forgive me for not being a giver as You declare in Your Word that I should be. Forgive me for not casting my bread upon the water and trusting You to bring it back to me. Forgive me for only giving what is required.

Now, Father, I desire to be a channel of Your blessing. Jesus, You are the channel of the blessing from the Father to me. I desire to be a channel straight from Your Throne, Oh God, to the world around me through my giving, praying and proclaiming. I dedicate everything I have to be a channel of Your blessing. You promised Abraham in Genesis 12:3, “And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Because You proclaimed blessing, Abraham and all Israel is blessed. You again proclaim in Galatians 3:29, “And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Because I am the seed of Abraham by faith through the adoption by Jesus Christ, I am a receiver and a channel of the same promise you gave Abraham. His promise is my promise and that promise includes blessing and provision.

I proclaim that that I have Your blessing and will receive more financial provision in the time to come. I am asking for wisdom of stewardship in managing Your blessing. I proclaim an end to my lack and want. I come against satan and his schemes that “steals, kills and destroys” Your blessing. I take the authority given me by Jesus Christ and in His Name curse the devourer, bind him up, and cast him out. I send him back to hell where he belongs.

Thank You, Father that through Jesus all things are possible when I believe. Only help me with my unbelief. Thank You that I am Your adopted child and that You love me as Your own. Thank You that I am grafted in so that I may be a beneficiary of your blessing and provision. Thank You that You have extended me Your Grace. Thank You that I possess Your unspeakable Joy. Thank You for Your precious Gift of the Holy Spirit. Thank You that I am producing the Fruit of the Spirit. Thank You that the Gifts of the Spirit are active in my life and in my church. Thank You for the call that You have placed upon my life. Thank You that I am fulfilling that Call.

Thank You for the promise of eternal provision in heaven with You someday. I bless You, Lord. I will say with David in Jesus Name, “Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgives all your [MY] iniquities, Who heals all your [MY] diseases, 4 Who redeems your [MY] life from destruction, Who crowns you [ME] with lovingkindness and tender mercies, 5 Who satisfies your [MY] mouth with good things, So that your [MY] youth is renewed like the eagle's.” (Psalm 103:1-5)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

MISSIONS - God's Plan for the Church

The month of November brings to mind family and eating. Somewhere along the way, though, someone always reminds us of the real meaning. Thanksgiving is my most favorite time of the year because we get together with family and friends. We have started a ritual in recent years at our celebration. Each person is asked to share something for which they are thankful. The only catch is that they are actually reading what was written at the previous year's Thanksgiving celebration. We write what we are thankful for and put it up for a year. Then when we're all together again, we dig them out and remember what and why we wrote what we wrote. This year's thankfulness is different from last year's thankfulness. But bottom line, some things never change.

One thing that should never change is every Christian’s thankfulness for salvation. Have you ever considered that someone went out of their way to share with you the message of the Gospel? Have you ever thanked God for that person? Someone became a missionary to you. A missionary is someone with a mission to proclaim the Gospel to someone who has never heard. So in this week's perspective, I want to look at what "missions" means to you, me, and those people who have never heard the message of the life changing power of Jesus Christ. Someone is counting on YOU to give them the life changing message of salvation.

In the word, "missions", the beginning letter is "m". When most people hear the word missions, they think of missionaries. Missionaries are people who are sent by God to preach the Gospel to people who've never heard it – to minister the Gospel. In reality every Christian is called to be a missionary. Missions, in a word, is "ministry." Really, this is what it's all about. It's about normal, ordinary people like you and me who use their God-given talents to share with someone else the Good News of Jesus Christ. Missions is being a minister or a servant of Christ carrying the Gospel message in a tract, bowl of soup, a blanket or any other tangible material to people who need it. Being a servant opens up an opportunity with people to share a testimony of Jesus Christ. God is looking for people who will be His servants to minister to people who need it. Will you be that person?

The second letter in missions is "i". "I" can be the middle letter in pride or it can be the answer Moses gave to God, "Me, Lord?" Missions is not about building up your ego or getting some kind of certificate or pat on the back. Missions about getting "involved". You, like Moses, might be saying, "ME? Get involved?" No, I'm not asking you! It's God calling. He's calling you to get involved in His ministry of taking the Gospel to those who have never heard it before. To be his hands and feet in showing His love to our world. It's about handing out that plate of food, sewing a blanket, or helping someone who cannot help themselves. Will you answer His call to get involved?

The third letter in missions is "s." On every ocean going vessel is a very important and I might add required piece of equipment. It's called the life preserver. It floats. You throw it to people who have been washed overboard. It floats because people don't. They need something to hold them up in the water. What people in this community and around the world need is a life preserver. The Bible calls it "salvation". Missions is "salvation". It's about helping a drowning, sinful person find a way to everlasting life through the free, forgiving gift of knowing Jesus Christ. Drowning people count on a life preserver. Dying sinful people are counting on someone to proclaim to them the message of salvation. It's their only hope. Will you throw them God's life preserver? Will you help someone else throw it by getting involved with missions?

The fourth letter in missions is another "s". The sad dichotomy of many houses of worship today is that the message of salvation is staying inside the four walls. It's like keeping the life preserver tightly bolted to the side of the ship when a drowning person is going down for the last time gasping for all they air they can get. Missions is about “sending”. Sending ourselves to the neighborhoods around us. Sending people across borders and oceans to unreached nations. You have been sent, Christian. You must GO! You also must send. Send those who have been asked to traverse natural barriers. Will you be sent? Will you send?

The fifth letter in missions is "i". Most know that to have something in the future you've got to sacrifice and save now. This isn't an easy proposition. It takes self-discipline and vision for the future. Missions is about "investing". When you do your part in God's Kingdom, in this community, and around the world, you are investing in God's Kingdom. The Bible teaches reaping what is sown. That means that someone has to invest in seed and time to sow it so that later someone can enjoy a harvest. When you get involved with missions locally or around the world, you are investing in God's Kingdom. God is asking you to sow your time, abilities and resources. The future return for this investment is out of this world. God's payback plan is the best in the universe. Why not invest in His plan in 2010 and see what rewards He has laid up for you?

The sixth letter in missions is "o". There is one thing that cannot be ignored in a home. It's the trash! Everyone walks by it, but no one wants to take it out. No one wants to take ownership. It's not my job. It's not my trash! But the facts say it belongs to you. Missions is about taking "ownership" in what God is doing in your community and around the world. It’s not about you and your plan. It’s about getting involved with God’s plan to save the world. It’s giving of your time, abilities and resources to God's Kingdom. Will you take ownership in God's Kingdom instead of leaving it to someone else to do?

The seventh letter of missions is "n". It's too easy to only focus on what's going on in our little world with all its problems and forget about the rest of the world. It's hard to see how worldwide problems affect us here in Kansas City. But Jesus told the disciples they were to start in Jerusalem, go to Judea, then to Samaria, and finally to all the other parts of the world with the Gospel message. Missions is about the "nations". We must get concerned about what God is concerned about – the lost. Nations of lost people are dying going to hell. God is concerned about you taking this message to people you’ve never met or much less seen. You ask, “How?” By sending people with our pennies, dimes, nickels, and dollars. This is the method we use to send. What will you do in 2010 to send people to the nations of lost people so that they may hear, read, or watch a Gospel message?

The last letter in missions is "s". When is the best time to throw a drowning person a life preserver? As soon as you know, right? When is the best time to get involved with missions and give so that others may know Christ? "SOON!!!" Missions is not about waiting for the economy to be right. It's not about waiting until all the right doors are wide open. Mission is about getting involved NOW. Jesus is coming soon. There's no time to waste. Now is the time. God has placed you at Argentine here and now to get involved with what He's doing around the world. What are you waiting on? When will be a good time, anyway? Will you get involved NOW in spreading the Gospel and sending other to do the same? How about NOW!!!

If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm trying to persuade you to get involved with the mission's program of Argentine Assembly of God in 2010. You will have an opportunity to get involved in God's worldwide plan of saving the lost on Sunday, November 15. On that Sunday morning, I am going to challenge you to make a faith promise to God. A faith promise is simply asking God what He will help you do each month and committing that amount to be given in a mission's offering. A faith promise is only for a one year period. A faith promise is not your tithes. I am going to give you a Faith Promise card to fill out so the church leadership can determine what the church can do to help fund the men and women who have been called to carry the message of Jesus Christ around the United States and the world. I am asking and challenging you to be in prayer and make that commitment to God. The church won't dun you each month for your offering. It will be between you and God. If you will take the challenge, I guarantee you'll see God's hand of blessing on your life and in your family. Some day you will receive a reward that is out of this world.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Poem: Wait...

Here is a poem that I thought would be instructional and encouraging. It is by Russell Kelfer. I hope you enjoy it.

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . .
And the Master so gently said, "Wait."

"Wait? you say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word.

"My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign,
Or even a 'no' to which I can resign.

"You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply."

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, "Wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting for what?"

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
and He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.
"I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.

You'd not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.
"You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.

"You'd never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

"The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

"You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I'm doing in you.

"So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait."

© 1980 Russell Kelfer. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Waiting on God...In Brokenness

We live in a broken world. The “talking heads” are trying to fix it by ranting and raving. The politicians try to fix it by enacting more laws. People in general are just trying to live the best way they can. Can anyone fix the problem? We don’t like to think that God as a cosmic bystander or on the other hand instrumental in breaking something or someone. We generally think of God as involved and the “Fix-it” kind. And He definitely fixes things that are broken. But what if God allowed things to come into our lives that ended up breaking us? Could this be good for us?

“Pastor, what are you talking about God breaking us?” Brokenness is a term that means God has shown me through spiritual insight or by circumstance my own inconsistencies, inadequacies and incompleteness in my flesh and soul. The key here is the revelation of GOD to you. Some retort, “Nobody’s perfect.” I’m not talking about trying to be something that you’ve have preconceived in your mind. Some kind of image you’ve dreamed up that will somehow please Him. I’m talking about a revelation of me through HIS eyes. His Holiness looking at my holiness. His perception instead of my perception of me.

In another Perspective, I talked about the three parts of man; spirit, soul and body (I Thessalonians 5:23). I told you the spirit is born of God and is connected to God. The soul contains the heart and mind (Jeremiah 17:10) - the will, intellect and emotion. The body is plain ole flesh and bones. The soul and flesh are the outer man. The spirit (inner) man is born of God and communicates with God. When we are born again, His Spirit is placed within us (I John 3:24, 4:13). We are baptized into the body of Christ by His Spirit (I Corinthians 12:13). Before we were born again, we lived listening to whatever the outer man said because our inner man was dead to God. But now that our spirit is alive in Christ, there is a realization of God and even right and wrong is always before us. If His Spirit now abides in us, then there is the possibility that we could and should walk in His Spirit and not in our flesh (Galatians 5:16). But why can’t we do that? What’s in the way? What keeps me from being in complete obedience to God at all times? Well, you probably already know. It’s the outer man that gets in the way.

Our flesh receives sensory information and our mind analyzes the information. This determines what to do. How I feel about it? And what I will do about it? The spirit man is exactly opposite. It receives information from God and is in complete obedience to God. And if we let it, it will provide the information to the outer man which changes what we do. This is the channel God uses and He wants us to yield our outer man to this method. What will it take open to this channel and live in obedience to “walking in the spirit?” It is going to take BROKENESS. When we allow our outer man to be broken before God, our inner man will now shine through and accomplish God’s perfect will.

Let me conclude with this illustration. God told Jeremiah to go to the potter’s house (Jeremiah 18:1-6). Notice that the potter took the clay and made the vessel just like he wanted. But while the clay was in process, his sensitive touch discovered a flaw (maybe a rock, hard piece of clay, or other foreign object). The potter knows that with this flaw, the clay will not be able to stand the fire of the kiln. Once in the fire, the clay will crack and render the vessel useless. So the potter crushes the clay and removes the defect. He then starts over making it into the vessel he desires. Once the vessel of soft clay is ready, he places it to dry and then into the fire of the kiln. The fire is the test of the integrity of the clay and will ultimately determine its usefulness.

Our potter is God and He determines what we will be even before we know Him. He takes our life when we saved and He begins to mould us and make us into the image of Christ. Ultimately we are going to be used in His Kingdom to accomplish His work (II Corinthians 4:7, II Timothy 2:20-21). Some of our flaws are surface flaws that are easily removed. When you were first saved, you did some things that were sin and you knew those things didn’t please God. They were surface flaws easily removed out of our lives. Some flaws are hidden to the eye that sees the exterior. God looks at our heart, our soulish man (1 Samuel 16:7). He sees the flaws that are not easily removed. He knows how to remove each one. He is patient, merciful and longsuffering. But eventually, brokenness is the only way it will be removed. So, He allows or sends something, a circumstance beyond our control, a loss of something or someone meaningful to our lives to crush our soul. In those times, it seems we are being ground up like hamburger meat in the meat grinder of life. His purpose is not our purpose. Our purpose is comfort. His purpose is completeness, wholeness, and spiritual perfection (James 1:2-3). It may be a fiery trial (I Peter 4:12-13); but it has not taken God by surprise. In this test, Christian, you will see the flaws that God already knows about (remember the definition of brokenness). Take those things to Him and ask for a Holy Ghost spiritual surgery to remove them from your life. Let Him cleanse you and put you back on the potter’s wheel.

“But what about today?” “What can I do now, Pastor?” You can ask God to break you. Break you so you can reveal His glory and not your ability. Whether in the trial or no, you can ask God to break you. This request will be hard if you truly ask with a pure heart. The outer man won’t like it. But on the other side it will be glorious. His Glory will be revealed in us and through us to others who need to see. How must we wait on God? In brokenness before Him!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Waiting on God...Hearing His Spirit

Do you remember when mom called? I can’t put my finger on it, but when my mom said, “Ronald Keith Rice Jr…,” I knew I was in trouble and I’d better get there in a quick hurry. My mother’s voice is familiar because I’ve heard ever since birth and even before. Even today, she can call me on the phone and I know whose talking. A newborn can be soothed by its mother’s voice even right after the birth. That’s something God has built within each one of us. Somehow our mind can relate an idea with a sound. You’ve probably heard of Pavlov’s dog. He heard the bell and he started salivating. God has placed this same connection within us. We can hear familiar sounds and memories flash through our minds.

Jesus said, “John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” The first step to hearing the voice of the Spirit is to be a child of God (or to follow Christ’s analogy, a lamb of His fold). Notice Jesus said, “MY sheep…” I’ve heard many today say, “It just feels right.” Or “I just know its right.” At least half the time I’m privy to background information, I find they’re in direct opposition to God’s written Word. They may not even be born again. A trip to the altar or walking the isle doesn’t make your born again. You might have confessed your sins, but is Jesus Lord of your life? Have you made Him, Lord and Master of your destiny? Being born again is more than just forgiveness of sin; it is making Jesus Christ the Lord. Another reason people miss it might be a lack of the knowledge of God because they don’t know God’s Word. And don’t expect to understand the Bible if your not born again. The natural man cannot understand the things of the Spirit (I Corinthians 2:14). Consequently, you can’t hear the voice of the Spirit if your not one of Christ’s. “You must be born again.” (John 3:3)
When God does speak to us, He does it through our spirit man. Our flesh receives sensory information and feeds it to the soul. In contrast, God gives information, but it doesn’t come through our flesh. It’s backwards – He speaks to the spirit. Then if we’re listening, it passes to our soul (mind and heart). So, to understand how to hear His Spirit, we must listen to our spirit man. Can I trust my spirit man, pastor? Oh, yeah! Your spirit man has been born of God and God has given you His Holy Spirit (I John 4:13). I Corinthians 2:16 says, “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ.” What is Paul saying? We already possess the mind of Christ. Do you? Yes. How? By God’s Spirit having birthed Himself in your spirit making us born again. It’s scientifically unexplainable, but it is real. Let me say and be very careful to hear what I mean, I’m not talking about the practices of eastern religions of meditation and emptying your mind. When you empty your mind, it is liable to be filled with all kind of garbage from the flesh or the devil (Matthew 12:43-45). Many have gone down the wrong path because they listen to that “inner voice” and it wasn’t the voice of God.

God wants to speak to us more than we want to hear what He has to say. But too many times there are barriers that are in the way that keep us from hearing Him. So to hear the voice of the Spirit, you’ve got to remove the barriers. What are these barriers? They are things that we put in between God and us. They may be misplaced priorities. They may be material possessions. They may be relationships (good or bad). We must continually guard our relationship with God to make sure we are not allowing barriers to be erected that will hinder our relationship with God. Let me illustrate it this way. God is light and there is no darkness at all in Him first John chapter one tells us. When we erect a barrier or allow a barrier to come between us and God, it casts a shadow on us and we walk in darkness. Our own heart is liable to fall into self-deception thinking we’re in the light but we’re really in darkness. This deception takes place in the mind and all communication to our spirit is blocked. If those barriers exist, ask God to help you remove them and then get rid of the ones you are physically capable of removing. Read and digest 2 Timothy 2:3-7 and see if it doesn’t apply.

The wonderful thing about my parents is that I knew what they wanted me to do. I know this because they told me. Often times I didn’t do it, but that’s another story. Knowing what God wants me to do is another way we can hear His Spirit. To hear the voice of the Spirit, you must know His Word which is God’s divine will. He will never deviate from His Word. He won’t tell you something that is contrary from His Word. Notice Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit…” God’s Word divides the soul and spirit. The Christian doesn’t have to live life on “feelings” or waiting on some prophecy. You can know the voice of the Spirit because He will always lead and guide according to His Word. Do you know His Word, Christian? Do you go to His Word first before seeking external guidance? First, ask for God to speak to you and then get out His Word. His Word is the roadmap and manual to the Christian life.

In conclusion, Jesus’ statement about His sheep hearing His voice also gives us a clue about hearing the voice of the Spirit. The reason I knew my mother’s voice is because I had heard it so much. The reason we hear the Spirit’s voice is because we are consistently listening and obeying it. So to hear the voice of the Spirit, you must be in the habit of listening and obeying what He speaks to your spirit. Now be careful, I don’t know if anyone could ever be “habitual” about listening to the spirit. But I do know that I have to strive and be intentional about it. This battle with the sensory life (soul and body) is a constant battle that will only be overcome when we are released from it through death or rapture. But don’t be discourage, God has given us the power through His Spirit to be pleasing to Him (Romans 8). When I make it a habit to continually listen and obey, I will become more sensitive to even the gentleness of His voice.

Next week, I’ll be talking about Waiting on God…In Brokenness. God Bless you as you Wait on God, Christian.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Why Wait on God?

Waiting on God…The Purpose

I am posting my past Pastor's Perspective for Sunday, September 27, 2009.

I’m taking a “rabbit trail” in this week’s Perspective to explain the conflict of “wait on God.” Last week, I discussed the need to let God be the Light that illuminates your pathway. But what do we often do? Get ahead of God’s light! Have you ever taken children on a hiking trail, bike riding, or maybe to the store and they wanted to run ahead. They soon discover they’re lost and get scared. Fear grips their heart. Our son, Robert likes to run ahead or play around while we are in a store, but one thing I’ve noticed is that he keeps us in view at all times. When he looses track of us, that’s when he gets scared. Oh, that we would be that way with God. It’s not that God is lagging behind and we’re too “fast” for Him. It’s that we are too prone to operate by the flesh and not by the Spirit. As a mater of a fact, the Bible calls it a warfare of flesh against spirit.

To understand this warfare, think about the three parts of man: the body (flesh), the soul, and the spirit. The body is only a shell or a house for the soul to live in. The soul is the part of man that never dies and will spend eternity in heaven or hell. The spirit belongs to God. When we are sinners, the spirit man is dead to God. But when we’re saved, the spirit of man comes alive. Jesus said, “…you must be born again…Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." (John 3:3) He was talking about a spiritual birth. We are born again in our spirit man. Jesus goes on to say in verse 6, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” These two are very different and opposed to one another.

When our spirit man is born again, God can start to communicate through it. In contrast, we perceive things of this physical life through our five senses. The information we gather goes to our mind which is the seat soul. The soul is made up of three basic areas: will, intellect, and emotions. These three determine what we do in the flesh. They compute information and tell the flesh how to react. God doesn’t communicate through the flesh or the soul. He communicates through the spirit by the Spirit (Notice the different sizes: “s” is the spirit of man and “S” is the Spirit of God). Our flesh wants to react in a certain way especially when there is outside stimulants. And sometimes that’s good when we’re in obedience to God’s will. But the problem comes when we are in disobedience. Consequently in order to live in the Spirit and in obedience to Christ, the flesh must be crucified with Christ continually.

The reason we must wait on God is simply to discern what God is speaking to our spirit and what our flesh is saying to the mind. How does the flesh talk? Through sensual stimulants (feelings and emotions), logic, and reasoning. How does the spirit talk? Through the voice of the Holy Spirit. Our soul is the processor of the flesh and the spirit. Worldly information comes from the outside to the inside. God’s leading through the Holy Spirit comes from the inside (spirit) to the outside. Therefore, it is impeditive that we wait on God to know the difference.

How am I going to know the difference between the flesh and the Holy Spirit, Pastor?

  • You’re going to know because you have the God’s Holy Spirit within you, which comes at salvation (1 John 4:13).
  • You’re going to know because you ask God to help you walk in the Spirit not in the flesh (Galatians 5:16).
  • You are going to know because you are nailing the flesh to the cross daily; so that evil desires are kept under the Spirit’s control (I Corinthians 15:31, Galatians 2:20 & 5:24).
  • You’re going to know because though God’s Spirit you can test these impressions to move in a direction or not (1 John 4:1-3).
  • You’re going to know because you can ask the Holy Spirit to help you to discern (tell the difference) between what is of God and what is not (I Corinthians 12:10, 31 & Philippians 1:9-10)
  • You’re going to know because you are renewing your mind daily by a steady diet of God’s Word (Romans 12:1-2) and prayer (I Thessalonians 5:17).

Are you learning anything about “Waiting on God?” I guess the next question that I hear more than anything while on this subject is “How do I hear the Spirit?” That question I’ll deal with in the next Perspective.

Waiting on God...The Source

I am posting my past Pastor's Perspective for Sunday, September 20, 2009.

Wait on God!? This is the microwave generation, I’ve heard. We have information at our fingertips. Music can be carried around in things smaller than a match box. Remember those old 8-track tapes, records, and cassettes? Now we have CDs and MP3s. You can rip the songs off (I almost sound like a con artist) and put them in an electronic device that delivers sound as good as or better than the original recording. Why wait? We can have it now. Pull out the plastic. Pop it in the microwave. Stick those ear buds in your ear and listen now. Do we have to wait?

Another aspect about Psalm 27 that I would like to focus in this week is how David could wait on God. We laugh at our attitudes and lifestyles when it’s pointed out to us how much we rely on modern conveniences. And I really wouldn’t want to go back to the days of horses and buggies, would you? But look how much we have come to lean heavily on them. Let the electricity go out and we can’t function. David, even though he didn’t have the modern conveniences, still had to beware of relying on self. You might be saying, “How is that, Pastor?”

David was a might man surrounded by mighty men. There was no foe that could defeat David and his men. He was victorious in every way. It would have been easy for David to rely upon his physical abilities rather than God (and David did at times). However, in this Psalm he shows us the Source of his strength. David tells us that God is His real Deal. Listen to verse 1, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?”

First, David says the Lord is his Light. Physical might and military strategy is wonderful, but if David couldn’t find his way, he would be defeated before he put his armor on. That’s why David could say in verse 14, “Wait on the Lord.” The light of God illuminates those areas that are darkened by fear, doubt and confusion. These three are the tools of the enemy to defeat us. But God is light (I John 1:5) and there is no darkness in Him. His Word spoken directly through the Spirit and the written Word of God is the lamp to our feet and light to our path (Psalm 119:11). The reason that David could wait on God is because He didn’t want to get ahead of the light nor did he want to lag behind.

How can you wait on God? By letting Him be your light. We live in a dark society and culture. “But the sun is out, Pastor! It’s beautiful outside.” What I mean is that the direction our society and culture is taking is diametrically opposed to the things of God. It is a spiritual darkness that I’m referring to. The people who live and operate in that realm (Ephesians 2:2-3) are in darkness. So how are we different? How can we be free from this path to nowhere? By letting God be your Light. You let God be your light when you wait on Him to give you the guidance and direction you and your family need to make it through this darkness.

How can we let Him be our Light? First, by daily reading His Word. His Word is the guide book to life. I know it is counter-culture; but in it is everything we need to know Him. Reading and studying God’s Word is our spiritual food. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Our faith is grows and is strengthened when we read and study God’s Word.”

Secondly, we must attend God’s house. Argentine Assembly of God is a community of believers who love to study God’s Word. There is Sunday School, Sunday morning and night, Tuesday morning and Thursday night Bible study. Wednesday night prayer and Bible study.
Thirdly, Not only is God Light and His Word Light, but you’ve got to walk in the light. Light for the pathway of your life and illumination of right choices for you personal life and family’s life come as you walk in the light. Walking in the light in the light is fellowship with God (I John 1). Fellowshipping with God is being where God is by making an atmosphere for Him. The house of God is just the place for that.

How do I wait on God, Pastor? By letting God be your light. By turning to His Word for your guidance. By being in God’s house where there is an atmosphere for His presence. By asking Him to be your light. Let me say again just as David said, “Wait, I say, on the Lord!”