I started reading the next chapter of Daniel this morning, which I love because it has one of God’s many stories of triumph, in how He delivers His children from the brink of death
This is the chapter where King Nebuchadnezzar has given the ultimatum to those, who he thinks, should be able to interpret his dream. Nebuchadnezzar wants them to interpret his dream, or die, along with all of the otherwise people in Babylon.
However, the magicians, enchanters, and astrologers fail to do so, and therefore the King decrees that all the wise people will die, but when the guard comes to find Daniel and his friends to kill them, Daniel asks for more time in order to reveal the meaning, because he knows the only One who can do, as the King desires
Daniel and the three others pray to God, and seek His revelation (which comes through Daniel), but Daniel humbled himself and does nothing different in how he explains to the King that he is unable to interpret the dream, yet then, he points the King towards God – which is what the magicians, enchanters, and astrologers failed to do
The courage that Daniel shows here is beautiful…
Would you rather have died from someone else’s mistake, or like Daniel, died trying?
Daniel didn’t know what King Nebuchadnezzar would do, yet Daniel praised and thanked God for the wisdom and strength he had received, to deliver this message
That is what I feel we can sometimes miss…
How many of us pray for wisdom over a situation in our lives, and then forget to ask for the strength to carry it out?
So many of us have been given revelation from God, or words to speak, directions to take, dreams to pursue, warnings, or courage to overcome fears etc. etc.; yet we hold onto those truths, because of the unknown
Today, I want to encourage you, if God has answered a prayer, praise Him for Who He is, and thank Him for what He has given, then step out, in boldness, and bring glory to God’s name, knowing Who it is we ultimately serve – because if God is for us, then who can be against?
This song is literally my heart cry…
I was listening to it last week, and suddenly the words tore open a floodgate, that has not been able to be closed since
This isn’t a desire, a want, or a longing…it’s a need, a must have – no matter what the cost.
I need more!
It’s a heartfelt cry deep within, that’s rising and overflowing as I lavish in His presence, wave after wave
Like a thirst that never ends. I need more of Him, and although I know I’m full, I’ve not satisfied my quench
I was thinking about this song (again) this morning as I woke singing it, but, the reason my spirit is crying out for more, is because I feel, there are times in our lives when God calls us deeper.
To be more intentional. More intimate. To bring a more significant revelation. An understanding of what it means to be in “over our heads” with God’s presence…
For the first time in a long time, God is calling us to go into uncharted waters. To go beyond the deep. To discover. To journey. To breathe Him in, and breathe Him out. To trust. To know. To let go. To be engulfed by the wave, breaking over our souls, and allowing the rip to simply take us
Because we understand what real freedom looks like…
I need more!
Yesterday, I was talking with my daughter, Sarai, in her bedroom when her ”Growth Chart” caught my eye.
This is something that I hold precious to my heart because it’s a carved wooden flower that shows my little girl’s growth over the decade since she was born.
It may not seem a lot to some, but to me, it’s the journey of growth…the struggles, the good, the bad, and the ugly, of life.
It’s a daily reminder of God’s goodness to us as a family, because He blessed Kieren and I with a baby, to nurture and love.
So many of us forget how far we have come in our spiritual walk, that it made me think about what people could reflect on if they could see their ”Spiritual Growth Chart.”
The Scripture in 1 Peter reminds us, like babies, that we need to crave pure Spiritual milk to grow, and I don’t know about you, and whether you have experienced it personally, but I certainly remember Sarai letting me know when she was hungry as a baby!
There is always another level that God is calling us too, like a proud Father, He is watching us grow, waiting for the next milestone to be achieved. Desiring that hunger and thirst from us, to see the Spiritual nourishment be received
Friends, if you could look at your ”Spiritual Growth Chart,” what would you see?
This isn’t to shame or condemn or to even promote or gloat; this is about an individual growth chart that your Daddy has proudly hung on the wall so that He can help you grow when you call out to Him
And let’s face it, as cute as most babies are, imagine a world full of them that remained as newborns – forever – never reaching their full potential, never experiencing what it is to grow into the full experience of salvation in Jesus Christ, and therefore, never developing into the person that God predestined them to be…
Maybe this last season has been challenging. Perhaps it’s been the worst season of your life. Or, it’s been the best season of your life, and things just got busy
Either way, if your growth has stopped, then I encourage you to cry out to God, today, and hunger and thirst for more, because as our Father, He wants only the best for His children
”Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.” 1 Peter 2:2-3
This verse fills me with joy. This verse also gives me hope. This verse challenges me, just because, there is so much I can take from this one verse!
What do you think of or imagine when you read this verse?
Travel? Journies? Adventure? Missions? Purpose? All of them, and more? Me too!
Jesus came to set everyone free, and for us to experience freedom, just as it was always intended, but most importantly, to have an intimate relationship with the Father.
Yet, so many of us are still stuck in the cocoon of our world.
I love to travel…anywhere and everywhere – highways and byways. I always made a deal with God (that sounds worse than it is!) that wherever He called me, I would go.
I want to experience as many cultures, journies, testimonies of God’s goodness, and to see the world through His eyes. To bring joy and light, into the darkness of this world.
Am I a missionary? Yes, and no. I am called to set people free (with Jesus) from strongholds, fears, and to walk in their purpose in life – wherever that takes me, God only knows, but I do know that He will open those doors for me to travel.
We have a natural tendency to pick out the good bits and disregard the rest (when reading Scripture), but time, and time again, Jesus reminds us:
Just as God sent Jesus into the world, Jesus has sent ”them” – that’s you and I, my friend, into the world as well.
This life is about experiencing God’s glory on a daily basis, and to prepare us for what is to come. Don’t live in fear of the unknown, when an adventure with God, awaits
It doesn’t matter if the part of the world you are supposed to travel too, is two blocks from where you are now, or around the world three or four times in your lifetime…
What matters, is our faithfulness and obedience to Christ, and that, the part of the world you were predestined to change, does change for Jesus
So often we do things out of obligation, that things are no longer enjoyable. If we think of prayer as a checklist, then we have missed the whole point of spending time with God
How many times have we prayed the Lord’s Prayer and never really stopped to address what we are saying, and why?
“Our Father in Heaven” not only addresses God as Majestic and Holy but that He is also personal and loving – because He is our Dad. Some of us may think of having to speak to our earthly Dad as an obligation, but I hope, for most of us, we love to do it, because we love the relationship we have with Him…so speaking to our Heavenly Father should be so much more!
Yet, prayer itself is simply redirecting our thoughts, to our Dad, in Heaven, because we will always naturally seek to pray for “this” or “that,” but it is in the middle of “this and that” in which God usually moves.
Being in heaven means that our Dad, is higher than anything that this world has to offer, and therefore it gives us a perspective in Who we are indeed speaking to, daily
Lastly, why do we say, “hallowed”? I always wondered this, and so, I looked it up!
Hallowed means to “honour” His Holy name – so to put it simply, it’s remembering that there is no one like Him! Therefore, it’s respecting Who God is because when we use His name lightly, in all honesty, we forget our Dad’s Holiness
This morning, cultivate a desire to want to spend time with Dad. He has everything we will ever seek from life. Know everything we’ll ever want to know, and loves us more than we can ever imagine
Jesus is very open about the fact that a lot of us think that we just need to confess we are Christian and that is enough to purchase a one-way ticket to Heaven, but it’s not…
“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 7:21
It is also not about what we do for Christ in our lifetime, regarding the “ministry” He places on our lives because although it’s important, it’s not the fundamental to our relationship with God…
“On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’” Matthew 7:22-23
The fundamental of Christianity is not about what we do, what we say, or what we learn, but about who we become in Christ.
Wisdom, in living out the Gospel in our personal walk with Christ – that’s what it’s all about…
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Matthew 7:24
Christianity is living out Christ’s commands in our daily walk with the Father. Humanity will naturally look for the easiest way to achieve what we think is right, but Jesus makes it clear in the passage found in Matthew 7.
Therefore, if Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and He tells us to walk to “A” to get to “B” so that ultimately we will then reach “C” – no amount of bypassing “A” or “B” will ultimately help us, at the end of it all
Jesus tells His disciples in the New Testament to ”shake the dust from your feet” if the people refused the Gospel – why? Because it’s was symbolic of having rejected Christ.
Therefore, it meant that there would be no trace of that place where the Disciples were leaving
Jesus also makes the statement in Matthew 10:15 that those people will be worse off than Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24-25) because anyone who rejects the Gospel when they hear it, will be worse off than the cities which were destroyed by the fire from Heaven, as they never heard the Gospel at all.
This, to me, is a ”sobering thought.” Sodom and Gomorrah were known for their depravity, and yet, Jesus makes a clear distinction that those who reject the Gospel will be judged worse than people from these cities.
Sometimes God will call us to a place where we are called to pursue and continue to show God’s love, and to preach the Gospel, but there are other times when God will command us to leave or move on, and it is at this point that the disciples would have shaken the dust off their feet
As hard as it can be, we are not responsible for how the Gospel is taken by others, because we can not control another person’s heart, but if others do reject the Gospel, let ”your peace return to you” (v13) and leave that home or town, because they may have dismissed Christ once and for all