Tuesday, August 29, 2017

God's Supernatural Wellspring: When Tomorrow Becomes Today

We are in a famine! There is a drought for living water! The enemies goal is to keep God’s creation from ever experiencing the freedom that comes from drinking at the well of living water!  Amos 8:11 says, "The days are coming," declares the Sovereign LORD, "when I will send a famine through the land-- not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.”  We have a generation that is dehydrated, stuck in a dry desert, thirsty for living water, but settling a mirage in the dessert called self-satisfaction.

Did you know that Jesus performed at least thirty-seven (37) known miracles, and nine (9) of them had to do with water?  So ¼ of all miracles were tied to water…. JESUS LIKES WATER.  Why?  Because Jesus is our river... John 7:38 says, Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them." Jesus is our well... John 4:14 says, “But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  

I want to share with you today the story of a man who encountered Jesus at the well and found that the water he thought He was searching and waiting for wasn't in the pool he laid near but was available for Him that day through the true fountain of living water, Jesus.  A man whose tomorrow became his today when Jesus showed up!  John 5:1-6, “Soon another Feast came around and Jesus was back in Jerusalem. Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there was a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda, with five alcoves. Hundreds of sick people—blind, crippled, paralyzed—were in these alcoves. One man had been an invalid there for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, “Do you want to get well?”  I hear Jesus declaring to the church, “Do you want to get well?”  Can you imagine being so thirsty when you are only steps from the well of life, but being willing to die in a pit called excuses?  Aren’t you tired of excuses?  Aren’t you tired of hearing them?  Tired of maybe even making them.  The man at the well that day had plenty of excuses, but He had met the one person who could move past all the excuses and ask, “Do you want to get well?”  I HEAR a sound.  It is the sound of those that have waited on the sidelines, watching the church be distracted by the moral code of the world – All the while our Savior is asking, “Do you want to get well?” Then it is time to get to the well! I SEE the longing.   I see it in the eyes of a generation for hope to be revealed, and the church must be the reflection in their pupil with its hand extended – saying, “Do you want to get well?”  I FEEL the tug.  A tug of the Holy Spirit saying – Quit making excuses and climb to your feet and lead a revolution! DO YOU WANT TO GET WELL?

John 5:6, When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, “Do you want to get well?” He was stuck only steps from the water, steps from his miracle, steps from his refreshing, but it may as well have been miles! His mindset of blaming others stood in the way of his miracle. It was everyone else fault that he couldn’t get in the water and be healed! Can you imagine? Each day they stared at the water! Each day they watched for the whirlpool! Days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months and months to years! These people knew each other by name. They knew each other’s pain. They knew each other’s story. They were a fraternity of people waiting for a miracle! 

Get out of my way I gotta get blessed! It was every man for himself! When the water started bubbling up, the people started diving in! When church becomes about helping others and not ourselves we will see miracles! That is why I love the four guys in Mark 2:1-5. Remember these guys, they busted a hole in the roof to lower the paralytic down to Jesus. It wasn’t about them! But at the pool of Bethesda, it was every man for himself.  I imagine there was hair pulling, somebody probably kicked the other person’s walker…. This was mass hysteria….. They were either lethargic or alive it just depended who stirred the water!  But in their waiting for the movement of the water, they missed who walked into their circumstance.  I wonder how often God walks into our services, but we have never included him in the order of service. They were so busy waiting to get stirred up that they missed the one whom out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (John 7:38)  They were so desperate to be healed that they ignored the healer! 

Waiting, I am tired of waiting and thinking it must be tomorrow.  I am tired of seeing people desperate for more but fail to truly get free.  So often we feel like we must wait for the right moment but can I tell you, I feel like it is time for the waiting to end, Jesus wants us to be free, He wants us to be whole, He wants us to walk in the authority He gave us at the cross.  He doesn't want us to wait until tomorrow for the promises He has given to us, they are for us TODAY!  It is time our tomorrow become our today!  The wait is over! He had waited so long! His tomorrow was about to become his today!  There is one place that will change everything! One place that will restore your joy! One place that will strengthen that which remains!  One place that will stir you to change your world!  One place that will renew your mind and transform your heart!  That place is called the altar!   I have come to tell you that this is your moment! The water has been stirred! Get in the river of God! Do You Want to get WELL?!  Are you Stuck? Blaming?  Waiting for the waters to be stirred? Your tomorrow can become your today.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Get Your Praise On

In prayer this morning, God took me back to something I wrote in my book "Dehydrated". As some of you may know, I have been walking out my faith, believing for a miracle for a herniated disc in my neck. Some days are good and others, well, I praise God for healing me in advance. 

Today, I want to encourage all of you who may be walking through something that you are having to praise your way through. Some of you may be needing a miracle healing or maybe you're walking through a tragedy or a situation that feels hopeless. For those of you who may feel like your life feels more like an empty pit than a life giving well; if your river of joy is not flowing as it should; it's time to do something. When your river is dammed up bring out the dynamite! It will unstop and unclog your river so that joy can flow freely again. That dynamite is PRAISE! Praise demolishes the work of the enemy and sends confusion into his camp. What better way is there to open the dam than to use spiritual dynamite! Jesus said that His people would be endued "with power from on high" (Luke 24:49). The Greek word for "power" is dunamis, from which we get the word dynamite. Dynamite! Do you see what God has given you? He said He gave you power, or dynamite to break open the dam in your life that is blocking your joy and freedom. And when you praise Him, it proves that you know where your strength comes from. When you begin and end your day in praise, it releases freedom in your spirit and opens the windows of heaven. Instead of focusing on yourself and your problems and becoming self absorbed and self centered, praise forces your attention back to God, the very source of dunamis (Dynamite). 

Praise is the key to walking out a life of faith and freedom. Whenever your faith is at an all time high, you will see that praise is present. Praise and thankfulness are connected. (Col. 2:6-7). Our praise is acknowledgement that we can do nothing by ourselves, but with God, we can do anything. Praise builds our faith and strengthens us spiritually and tears down fear and doubt. Nehemiah 8:10 declares that the "joy of the Lord is your strength". Joshua understood this when he led the Israelites around the city of Jericho for the seventh time and ordered. "Shout!" for the Lord has given you the city!" If you want certain walls to crumble in our life or you need strongholds to come down, or you need a miracle today, then I say, "It's time to PRAISE!" It's time to declare freedom in our life and see past yourself and your current situation. You might feel as though life has dealt you a bad hand. It might seem like you just can't get past today, but you can! Praise will push you past your fleshly desert into a spirit realm of refreshing where you can see clearly how much God has done for you. Praise and Worship is my nerve pill! When you feel overwhelmed and anxiety tries to overtake you, turn up the worship and praise God! Soon, everything that had you down is swallowed up in the greatness of God. God inhabits the praises of His people. (Ps.22:3) 

So today...bring out the dynamite...Praise power! to break down the walls of worry, fear, anxiety, and doubt and watch as God enters into your situation and fills you up to overflowing again with Faith and joy and freedom. When you declare, "I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise will continually be in my mouth" (Ps. 34:1) then God will breathe new life into you in the midst of your chaos. Praise Him and the rain of refreshing will begin to fall down and fill you up to overflowing so that you can be a well of life and refreshing to others.  

(excerpt from "Dehydrated" Ch. 8 - "Get Your Praise On")