I Can’t Wait

I was praying for our youth group the other night and had this word from the Lord.  I don’t say that lightly, but don’t freak out on me either.  Youth group got cancelled so I thought I would share it with you.

I heard this:  “They’re waiting.”

Then I heard the following  (different voices), “I can’t wait till I graduate.  I can’t wait till I leave this house.  I can’t wait till I leave him.  I can’t wait till they can’t hurt me anymore.”

Then I heard, “I don’t want them waiting anymore.”

We are waiting.  We hold back from life because our circumstances, our environment is not what we want.  We won’t speak out about the wrong that we see.  We won’t speak out about the wrong that is being done to us.  We won’t pursue God, pursue His calling, pursue life with Him, because we’re waiting for life to change first.

It reminds me of a training exercise I was in when I was in the army.  We were attacking a fortified position and came under fire.  I hunkered down and looked back at my platoon sergeant.  He was frantically telling me to move and I refused.  I could hear the beeps from near misses on my training harness.  I turned back around and, “beep” I was hit.  The funny part was that I was mad at him for telling me to move.  It didn’t occur to me until later that he was trying to help me.

Well guess what, this is your call to move.  This is my call to move.  Don’t wait another second.  Speak out, speak up, get in there, get involved, press in, pursue God, pursue His love and calling on you.  Don’t wait.  You are not too old, or too young.  You are not too broken, too sinful, too ruined.  You are not DEAD.

The addiction that has its claws in you is not “fun” enough to hold you back from being what you were always meant to be.  So cast it off, be free.  Fear can not hold you anymore, rise above it and grab on to the Bible, His promises and truth.  Lies can’t deceive you anymore.  Live the way you were meant to live!

I can’t wait!

 

We are not consumed 

I have been praying over some difficult situations lately.  There are several things that are weighing on my heart.  There are so many things that we’ve lost, so many dreams unfulfilled.  I am aware of hurting families, lonely singles, broken marriages, the addicted, the depressed, the discouraged.

At my job lately, I’ve been working a lot of hours.  Sometimes I am amazed at the strength God has provided.  It’s like I am a machine that just goes full steam, nonstop.  I did twelve hours yesterday and didn’t feel all that tired.  The ride home from work reminded me that I am not a machine.  Machines don’t get back pain or have trouble walking into the house.

I thought of the verse:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” (‭Lamentations‬ ‭3‬:‭22-24‬ NIV)

I just kept repeating the phrase, “we are not consumed.”  

Broken hearts consume us, but we are not consumed.  Sickness consumes us, but we are not consumed.  Hatred, bitterness, fear, sadness consume us, but we are not consumed.

How can we go through life, friends dying, hope crushed, some facing pain and sickness, torture, catastrophe and not be consumed?  It doesn’t even matter if you are a Christian or not.  Living begs the question, “how are we not consumed?”

And maybe you feel like you are consumed.  I feel like that sometimes.  “I can’t take anymore.  If one more thing weighs me down, I’ll die.”

But, I AM NOT DEAD!

I can take more.  I can still move.  I will take one more breath, think one more thought.  You will too.

All because of the love of God.  

As I say this, I see a picture that was posted recently.  The guns of Isis warriors pointed at and poking a small child.  I do not believe that child lived, and it’s last moments were horror.  That is an environment where God’s love has been shoved aside, where man has fully denied God’s heart and run after evil.  That is what would consume us all if God’s love was removed.

I will not accept lethargy, complacency or apathy.  Depression and despondency will not rule my days.  I will wait for the Lord and live in such a way that I bring honor to Him. 

Because I am not consumed.



Now you’ll see…

Waiting is always so difficult, so discouraging.

I once was working with a horse that I really liked, but he was stubborn and moved so stiffly. A horse with a rider should move much like a horse with no rider. If not, there is usually either a problem with how I’m handling the horse or the horse is handling me. This was the latter.

I asked for some advice on how to help the horse develop and Lewis Sterrett (http://sermononthemount.org) said I should work with him to make him stand still. Much of horse training has to do with a horse in motion, so this was going to be different.

I learned the meaning of the word ‘pissed’ during this time. I didn’t punish the horse or run him into the ground. I just made him stand still. He would get so angry, sweating and foaming at the mouth. He would buck and literally, forcibly urinate. And then I would calmly put him back in the place where we started.

We would all like to see miracles. We would love to be in that place where amazing things happen around us, through us. But no one wants to wait. No one wants to discipline themselves to trust God when nothing is happening.

Moses was eighty when he heard the words, “now you’ll see.” David had run from Saul for many years before he heard them. Simeon waited till he was old, almost dead before he heard them.

A great life is the one that waits for God’s glory to be revealed in it. A great life is one that looks for God to shine through. Anything, ANYTHING else is such a waste.

Help me Lord! I can’t stand still.

People

I’ve been let down lately, a lot.  People have disappointed me, betrayed me, ignored me.

You hear the exclamations so often.

“Women!”

“Men!”

“Kids!”

“Parents!”

And yet we’re constantly still looking for that person, that moment in time, that event that will prove that we have someone we can count on.

I’m going to side step for a moment and shout something:

Dads, your family is counting on you.  Their need for you is great and your betrayal of them takes an act of God to even begin to heal. Don’t give yourself an excuse to let them down.  DO NOT LEAVE THEM!  No excuses!

The reality, the fact of life is that people will let you down.  Can you understand then why Paul declared, “My God will supply all your needs, according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

He will meet your needs.  If you look at emphasis on each separate word it may make it clearer.

He – He meets your needs.  No one else.

Will – He WILL do it.  Trust Him.

Meet – He will see your needs, take care of them, fulfill them.  Wait on Him.

Your – He is interested in you.  He loves you.  He will take care of YOU.

Needs – Not wants, not things that will hurt you further.  Your needs are not sex, happiness, a new car that you go into debt for, a nicer house, better kids, better spouse.  In fact, in our self-centered world, we don’t often know what our needs are.  Look to Him.  Listen to Him.  He is meeting your needs.  The provision is already there.

So friends, family, people let you down.  They’re letting me down.  Can I tell you in love, in honesty, to myself . . .

SO WHAT!

Trust in Jesus.  You’ll be golden.

We Give You

I write because I want to share what Jesus has done for me and through me.

I sing because I can’t seem to stop.

I laugh because God brings so many wonderful, silly, amazing things into my life.

I tithe because I don’t think this stuff is mine.

I practice because I want to get better.

I don’t quit because I know, one day, I’ll get through.

I pray because I know God hears me.

I read because my mind can’t slow down, can’t hear God’s voice.

I wait because Jesus is worth waiting for.

I don’t understand.  I hurt.  I get confused.  I can’t hear, can’t see, can’t believe.  But, God will make things clear.  He will show the reason for why, the purpose behind everything.  And I will trust Him, because He is ALWAYS faithful.

Try It Again!

fishnet

Mark 5    4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.”

How long have you been doing what you do?  How long have you been serving?  Have you seen ANY fruit?  Have you seen any break-through?

If we honestly look at our lives, we see glimpses, we see times where God has moved.  But it can often feel so small, so infrequent.  It may seem that we’ve, “toiled all night and took nothing.”

Have you cried out to God and just don’t hear His voice?  You’ve prayed and prayed and not seen an answer or even been told, “no.”

Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

This weekend I heard God speaking, not audibly, but deep in my heart.

“Let your nets down again.  Don’t give up.  I’m here.  I’m working.  Trust me.  You’ll see.”

I may not SEE my nets full.  I may not KNOW what God has done.

But HE IS ALIVE!  HE WILL MOVE!

Waiting

One of the many hats that I’ve worn in my life is that of a horse trainer.  Still tickled to think that I was allowed to work with these beautiful animals for so many years.  The horse is majestic, emotional, powerful, graceful, intelligent and a lot of fun.  They are hard work that never ends with daily feedings, grooming, keeping them shod, tack maintenance and repair and spending time riding or training them.  But it is all worth it when the rider and horse function as one unit; whether in a race, in dressage or any of the other wonderful activities they can do together.  The bible uses the term meekness to describe living for God.  That word is a picture of a war horse yielded to his rider – not the typical idea that people think of when seeing the word.  This relationship is not easy to come by (surprise, surprise), not for the horse and rider, not for us and God.

I worked with a horse in my younger years by the name of Waco (Way-ko – like the town in Texas).  Many of the horses that I dealt with were around 14 hands tall (more of pony size)  Waco, at 15.2 hands, was a true horse.  He was fast and agile.  He could jump and run forever.  But Waco had a problem.  He could not stand still.  I quit doing many of the training exercises with him when it became apparent that this was an issue.  You see a horse that can not be still is not yielded the two are not functioning as one unit.

I would stand him in the middle of the arena and give him no cues whatsoever.  At first, he would just walk off and I would have to pull him back or move him in some way to the original position.  Later, as my will asserted itself over him more and more, he would stomp and buck.  He would thrash and flail his head around.  He would become so infuriated with me that he would urinate torrents on the ground (probably where we get the colloquialism).  Was I asking great things from him?  Did I want something impossible?  No, I just wanted a yielded heart.  After time, he became more subtle.  He would move a foot to the side or shift back a step.  This was not acceptable either because I wanted his every movement to be dictated by me.  His tantrums at this point could be amazing to behold but they soon diminished altogether.

I was never a perfect trainer.  I could lose my temper as well as Waco could.  Sometimes I would correct him when I had actually given him a cue to move.  By our hearts became bound through the process.  I became a better rider.  He was certainly a better horse.  And, for the elderly who might be listening in, Waco was about 17 years old at the time, way past “prime” training years.  But, he still could learn.

God is the perfect trainer.  He never expects anything of us that He doesn’t equip us for and walk through with us.  He never loses His temper or acts rashly.  He governs His every action with and through His perfect love.  So why, when he asks me to wait, to stand still, do I not trust Him?  Why, when He asks me to rest, do I argue and fret?

“Be still and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10