JOIN ME IN A BREATH TAKING COMMUNION WITH OUR CREATOR!
It's a little before dawn and I walk the 200yds from my comfortable cozy cabin, in the brisk clear air to The Prayer Chapel at Harvest Prayer Retreat Center in Indiana.
The moonlight casts a silver glow over the ice-covered lake. Entering the Chapel I experience the presence of God in the beauty of His creation as I quietly speak out the names of Jesus inscribed in a variety of scripts upon one of the walls.
I sit down at the writing desk and read a description of worship by Richard Foster which started like this: "Worship is living in the reality of God's creation with a heart open to receive all it's glory. Wow for the next nine hours that is what I did and incredibly it seems as if it were but one. As you watch today's PM3 may God give you a desire to come out of hiding in the busyness of life and TAKE A DAY, & BE IN HIS CREATION.
Chkk-Chirrrrrrrrrrrr in the joy we share in Jesus and give away a PRAY NOW blessing today!
The Finishing Touch “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:2, KJV).
Faith in its finished form results in the power and provision of God manifested in the circumstances of earth. The perfecting and finishing of our faith is accomplished through difficulties and challenges of life. As we face challenges, it trains us in the ways of faith, it trains us to keep our focus on the reality instead of the shadow, and it circumcises all the flesh out of the vision God has given us. Like muscles in the physical body, faith grows by resistance training—by being forced to do heavy lifting.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).
Difficulty becomes blessing. Trials become joy.
Circumcising the Vision When God impregnates you with promise and causes vision to grow in you, that vision is designed and tailored to fit you and only you. It fits you exactly. When God describes His will, He uses three words: good, pleasing, and perfect (Rom. 12:2). The word “perfect” means “a perfect fit.” His will for you is beneficial to you (good); it will bring you pleasure and will please you (pleasing); and it will fit you to down to the last detail (perfect). You love the vision. You’re supposed to.
As the vision develops, the time comes when you are forced to recognize that although the vision is God’s, it has some of your flesh wrapped around it. When I say “flesh,” I am talking about those parts of your life that are still fueled by your human nature. Your flesh wants to own and control and possess and manage and manipulate. God is always working in you to free you of your flesh and move you more and more into the power of the Spirit. To that end, He arranges crisis moments at which you are brought face-to-face with your flesh and the claim it is trying to have on God’s vision. Those times are painful, but they are the most productive times of all. When your flesh is brought to its crucifixion, it is bloody and messy and our tendency is to resist. But crucifixion has but one end: resurrection. This has always been God’s pattern and continues to be so today. Crucifixion. Resurrection.
In Hebrews 11, God spotlights and highlights lives that have put faith on display. In each, the crucifixion-resurrection principle is evident. Look with me at an example.
Moses’ Parents The writer of Hebrews spotlighted Moses’ parents as prime examples of how faith works. The vision that God put into Moses began as a vision in the minds of his parents, who saw that he was no ordinary child. God caused them to see His promise and it jumped up and took such possession of them that a bold and reckless faith was born, freeing them from fear of the pharaoh. They didn’t know all its ramifications, but their vision was that he would live and not die at the pharaoh’s hands. That may be as far as they could see, but it was far enough.
God had to have provided supernatural protection for the baby Moses. He gave wisdom and ideas to Moses’ parents. Why did they even think that a little ark of bulrushes might protect Moses’ life? How did the idea even occur to them?
Three months they loved him and nurtured him and memorized his darling face and recorded in their hearts his dear sighs and gurgles and cries. With each passing day, love grew.
When the day came to let him go, imagine his mother’s walk from her home to the Nile's edge. Three-month-old son entombed in a basket.
Surely only her selfless love for her son could induce her to walk her Via De La Rosa. Had she given one thought to her own desires, she would have turned back. She was going to place him into the Nile in the days when the Nile ran red with the blood of Hebrew sons. She was letting him go into the river that his enemy had declared to be his burial place. Imagine as she stood in the Nile's waters and came to that moment when she had to do the hardest thing she would ever be called upon to do. She had to let him go. She had to die to her mother's instincts to guard and protect. To save his life, she had to let him go.
When she did, her son was put upon the course he had been ordained to travel. The very river that might have been his end was instead his beginning. Jochabed received him back again, but everything had changed. When she put him into the Nile he was a slave. When she received him back from the Nile, he was a prince.
The secret was in the letting go.
(Learn more about the Crucifixion-Resurrection principle in Fueled by Faith by Jennifer Kennedy Dean.
“I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them. I will establish and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary among them forever. My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be My people.” —Ezekiel 37:26–27
The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. —John 1:14
God with us, Immanuel, Your stated purpose for Your Incarnation and all that it entailed—Your birth, Your crucifixion, Your resurrection, Your ascension, the sending of Your Spirit—was to establish peace.
You are the peace. The peace You offer is not something separate fromYourself. The peace You offer is entirely based on who You are. Who You are is all that matters.
When Your messenger came to Mary, as recorded in Luke 1, Your message was a bit unsettling: “Do not fear. I am about to upend your life and make you centerstage for My divine drama, but do not fear.” Mary had one question: “How can this be?” (v. 34). You had one answer: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (v. 35). Mary wanted to know how, but You only told her who.
“Our faith does not provide us with an answer, but with a Person. When Mary sought an explanation, what she got was a revelation,” Brantley reminds me Dean.according to my son Brantley.
I imagine how Mary might have reacted had You explained to her Mary the how of Your plan. How would I respond to the most complex explanation of the most intricate matter regarding a subject of which I am wholly ignorant? That would sound like baby talk compared to an explanation about how You would come as a little baby fashioned in the womb of a virgin. The how would not have brought peace to Mary’s heart, but the who caused a peace that surpassed understanding to stand guard over her heart (Philippians 4:7).
When anxiety tries to lay claim to my thoughts, when fear seeks a foothold in my mind, when confusion threatens to make a stand in my heart, I look to You, I seek Your face. You are all the antidote I need to anything that might steal my peace.
You will keep in perfect peace the mind that is dependent on You, for it is trusting in You. Trust in the Lord forever, because in Yah, the Lord, is an everlasting rock! —Isaiah 26:3–4
You came to me. You, the Unknowable made Yourself known.The Invisible made Yourself visible. The Invulnerable made Yourself vulnerable. The Unapproachable approached.
No frantic seeking was required. No ceremonies and rituals were necessary. You, for whom our souls long, have eternally been longing for us. With all our anxious looking about, You were always there. Your presence is peace.
I found You in the spaces in between I found You in the dark and not the light I looked for You in drama In the earthquake and the fire And found You in the quiet, You were waiting for me there. I looked for You in miracles In the loud, in voices raised I looked for You in gatherings In signs, in prayer and praise But I found you in the gentle breeze The still small voice, the darkened cave.
I found you in the spaces Between sleeping and awake I found you in the waiting The worry, in the fear I found You in the sleepless night I found You in despair I found You in the questions No loud answers anywhere I found You in the silence Silence full not silence void I found You in the spaces You were looking for me there.
Please join us as we lift up our nation and the Church at this very crucial crossroads (spiritually and otherwise) during the next few months. Starting August 1 through December 31 (one name per day, which is 153 names total), let's unite in praying that Christ will rule and reign in every person, place and situation across America. The 153 names of Christ and accompanying Scripture passages cover a wide breadth of who He is. He is vast; He is supreme; He is the Lord of all; He is worthy of all praise. God will do more than we can ask or imagine (in our individual lives and in every sphere of influence in our nation), if many thousands of Christ-followers unite (Matthew 18:19-20).