Monotonous, Menial, Mediocre Moments

Washington Plain

Does monotonous, menial, or mediocre seem to describe the current moments of your life?

It’s been a long time since you’ve been on the mountaintop. Your life seems to stretch before you like a flat, dry plain. Have you asked God what’s going on and why He’s had you here for so long?

Have you ever pondered why we don’t find the words “monotonous, menial, mediocre” in the Bible?

Zechariah gives us insight to God’s view of such things:

“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel?” — Zechariah 4:10 NIV

Small things . . . not monotonous, menial, or mediocre. God says not to despise the day of small things.

Why?

In the kingdom of God, greatness is molded and shaped in tasks such as these.

So if you’re wondering what’s going on and why God’s taking so long to answer your prayer, to move you on, to bring the promise you know He has told you to wait on . . . persevere.

His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” — Matthew 25:21 ESV

God is the waster of nothing and no thing. 

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God–you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration–what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day. — Psalm 139:16 MSG

Thank you God for the day of small things. Thank you for preparing every day of my life before I was even born. Empower me to be faithful over little. Thank you that You are the waster of nothing and no thing.

For more: Greater: Dream Bigger. Start Smaller. Ignite God’s Vision for Your Life. by Steven Furtick

Unafraid of Being Transformed

butterflyIn 2 Corinthians 5:17, we read:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (ESV)

At the moment we received Christ, we were instantaneously transformed into a new creation. What an awesome reality!

In nature, we watch the miraculous transformation of caterpillars into butterflies.

Yet, the Christian journey is not a single moment of transformation at the moment of salvation. Rather, Jesus invites us again and again to re-enter the cocoon of His molding, reshaping, and reconfiguring of our lives and hearts to free us to become more and more like Him. (Col 3:9-11)

Jesus is continuously freeing His children from the grasp of the weights on our hearts and our minds.

Weights of:

  • Fear and worries
  • Insecurity
  • Failure
  • Anger
  • Detached Emotions

In each invitation Jesus brings to us, there is a choice to resist and stay the same or to embrace and embark on the journey of transformation. Jesus never asks for us to do it alone. He holds our hands every step of the way. Yet many of us are afraid.

Sadly although many start the journey, many turn away before the work of transformation is complete. We long to be freed, yet there is a strange comfort in grasping the familiar and the known rather than venturing out into the unfamiliar and unknown. So we reason away our need to stay in the cocoon of Jesus’ transforming of our hearts and go back to crawling like a caterpillar instead of flying as a butterfly.

Why do we resist and even turn away from the transformation Jesus offers us?

We are afraid. Fear’s grip on our hearts can cause us to retreat and reason away our need for Jesus’ healing transformation in our lives.

Author, speaker, and pastor’s wife Susie Davis knows the agony and the strangling grasp of fear on her life. She tells her victorious story of transformation in her book, Unafraid: Trusting God in an Unsafe World.

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Are you unafraid?

What fears are gripping you?

What journey of transformation is Jesus inviting you on?

Jesus invites us to His cocoon of transformation again and again. May we not miss a single one of His invitations for in doing so we exchange our crawling legs for flying wings.

A great resource in your journey of transformation: The Ultimate Journey

 

 

 

photo credit: Schmetterling I via photopin (license)

Anticipating Resurrection

Knight Kneeling

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” (John 9:3)

I lived the first 32 years of my life with a substantial amount of spiritual oppression. In 2007, Father miraculously set me free.

As I have helped people deal with long-term spiritual oppression in their lives, I have seen the truth of John 9:3 play out — the work of God is displayed in their lives.

Again and again, I have seen Father miraculously transform the deadened spaces of their hearts and lives — that used to be thwarted and emasculated (to deprive of strength or vigor, weaken) into bridges of freedom and healing that in turn open up a new and greater capacity to minister to others in ways that they weren’t capable of as long as the enemy was exerting the weight and pressure of spiritual oppression on their lives.

As they are freed, a sort of resurrection of the deadened parts of their spirit and heart takes place. During the 40 day journey of prayer I go through with couples in ministry, my favorite excerpt from the daily guide we use is below:

Anticipating Resurrection

How do you anticipate well?

Unlike Lazarus, you are not physically dead
Unlike the paralyzed man on his mat who didn’t know of his resurrection until the moment Jesus told him to get up, pick up his mat, and walk (John 5:8-9)
Unlike Daniel, you know beforehand that the “lions” will be definitively slayed and sent forever away
Unlike Saul/Paul, you see the more your heart has always known there was and your spirit’s eyes will see your Father as He truly is . . . up until now your ears have only heard about (Job 42:5)

So how will you prepare?
Jesus knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that He would be resurrected
What kind of faith and what kind of perspective will honor and worship your Father and King as you prepare for Him to resurrect the deadened parts of your spirit and heart?
It will be a holy moment between you and Him.

No one will see grave wrappings falling off
No visible mat will be tossed aside
No one will pull you out of the lions’ den
Ananias won’t come and lay his hands on your eyes . . . Father will.

He rescues me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me. Psalm 55:18

Excerpt taken from 40 Day Prayer Focus Guide, originally written in April 2010

For More:

40 Day Prayer Focuses for Churches and Ministries: Targeting Spiritual Warfare

He Overcomes! . . . The Promise of Luke 10:19

Does Your Calling Compel You to Live with Urgency

Pastors, Has the Enemy Come in Like a Flood?

10 Ways to Keep Going When You’re Taking Spiritual Ground

photo credit: Tididi via photopin cc

He Overcomes! . . . The Promise of Luke 1019

soldiers in a prayer circleOften when I pass out my ministry card to people they ask, “What’s the 1019 stand for?”

I respond with Luke 10:19 where Jesus says to His disciples,

I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” (NIV)

It’s a truth that is central to our faith yet seemingly known by few and lived out by fewer.

I run into believer after believer, ministry leader after ministry leader, and church after church who are more comfortable with explaining away or misdiagnosing spiritual oppression in their life and in the life of their church body rather than calling it for what it is and biblically dealing with it through a long season of prayer, typically 40 days.

I’m not talking about looking for a demon behind every rock nor am I seeking to simplify the complex spiritual attacks which often beset us.

I am challenging us as believers to take the example given us in Mark 9:14-29 where Jesus explains to His disciples concerning the demonic spirit that they couldn’t drive out of a boy,

And He said to them,“This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.” Mark 9:29

When we’re unwilling to deal with spiritual oppression through a long season of prayer, we spiritually limp around beset by fierce spiritual attack the remains undealt with.

Is the enemy coming against your church body with a flood of spiritual warfare and attack? Is. 59:19

If so, then it is possible that the enemy has established a stronghold or a series of strongholds that can be dealt with through a 40-day prayer focus.

Are you a pastor or ministry leader who is silently struggling with:

  • heavy depression
  • weighty and unexplainable emotional struggle
  • repetitive and persisting spiritual attacks
  • unexplainable delays in personal and spiritual progress

Prayerfully consider if spiritual oppression is a hidden reason behind these things (Mark 4:22). Consider a 40-day prayer focus.

We follow a Leader and Guide who wears the victor’s crown! He has overcome and has given us authority to overcome all the power of the enemy!

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For More: Does Your Calling Compel You to Live with Urgency

Photo on Flickr by U.S. Department of Defense Current Photos by U.S. Department of Defense

Father, Even in This Your Provision is Perfect and Right

ProvisionDo you ever wonder if Father’s provision is enough?

Have you ever stayed awake at night wondering how you will make it through?

Right now, are you feeling at the end of your rope with waiting for Father to rescue you?

You are not alone.

Throughout history and throughout the Bible we find brothers and sisters who experienced and proclaimed this truth:

Father, even in this Your provision is perfect and right.

Their Last Meal of Bread: 1 Kings 17:1-16

During a great drought in the land, the widow at Zarephath was getting ready to make her last meal for herself and her son. The imminent reality in front of her . . . death from starvation.

God sends the prophet Elijah to her telling him, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” 1 Kings 17:9

And the widow went from preparing to eat her last meal to having a jar of flour that didn’t get used up and a jug of oil that didn’t run dry.

Nothing to Pay Her Debts: 2 Kings 4:1-7

A widow whose husband had died cried out to Elisha that her husband’s creditor was coming to take her two sons away as his slaves. Elisha tells her to take the little oil she has and keep pouring it into all the empty jars she had gotten from her neighbors. The oil filled up every last jar.

Then Elisha told her, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on the rest.”

Fishing All Night and Catching Nothing: John 21:1-14

After Jesus rose from the dead, Peter and some of the disciples were fishing. They were seasoned fisherman, yet that night they caught nothing.

The next morning Jesus appears on the shore and asks, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”

“No,” they answered.

He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

What about you?

Feeling like you’re at the end of your rope?

Are you at the end of your resources?

Have you been investing and trying and coming up with nothing?

Take heart. In your difficult situation, Father will provide in perfect faithfulness at exactly the right time.

photo credit: ~diP via photopin cc

Pastors, Has the Enemy Come In Like a Flood?

WRR mudslideWhen the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. — Is. 59:19 (KJV)

I had the privilege of interceding over a pastors’ conference at Wind River Ranch in Estes Park, Colorado during the rain and flooding of early September.

When I arrived at the ranch on Monday prior to the arrival of the pastors and their wives, Father directed me to intercede several times up and down the main road that ran through ranch. Father continued to have me do this daily. By Thursday morning the road was becoming a steadily moving stream. By Thursday afternoon, the road I had walked became a raging river and the first mudslide roared down the mountain into the ranch.

As the ranch staff, pastors and their wives used shovels, a tractor, and a bulldozer to shore up the land on either side of the road to prevent further erosion and more extensive flooding, Father had me continue to intercede on whatever dry land I could find, praying His promises found in Isaiah 59:19 and 1 Kings 18:37.

Thursday night at 11:15 PM a second mud/landslide of a three-to-four foot wall of water and thousands of pine trees raced down the mountainside. The roads and land sustained a great deal of damage, yet none of the 70 staff and guests were injured nor were the ranch’s buildings or cabins damaged.

As I think back on what God accomplished in our midst, I wonder how many of us are praying for, looking for and expectantly anticipating God to raise up a standard against the Enemy when he comes in like a flood.

Is the Enemy coming against your church body with a flood of spiritual warfare and attack?

If so, then it is possible that the Enemy has established a stronghold or a series of strongholds that can be dealt with through a 40-day prayer focus.

Crossing the Finish Line In a Season of Ministry [Called series]

Finish LineIn a race, the finish line is clearly marked. How you end the race is clear: cross the finish line. Crossing the finish line in a season of ministry is less clear for it is a journey of faith.

Often our finish in a season of ministry will not seem victorious to others or maybe even to ourselves. In finishing a season of ministry, the thing that matters most is this: being in step with God. “What God originates, He orchestrates.”

God shapes a season of ministry to accomplish His purposes and plans. The end of that season will often appear or even feel far from a flourishing finish in the human sense. Seek  to have one focus: to keep your eyes on Jesus, follow His lead, and obey and please Him. Know that as you seek to do so, the Enemy will seek to  try make you feel as if you:

  • Failed
  • Stopped short
  • Floundered
  • Didn’t cut it

When these attacks come, take comfort in the promise of Isaiah 55:8-9:

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.” “For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (NLT)

As you finish, make the words of Paul your mark of vision in your heart and mind: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. – 2 Timothy 4:7 (ESV)

For in each season of ministry, Father gives us a fight to fight, a race to finish, and a faith to keep.

It matters not whether others approve or understand why God’s moving you on. You live for an audience of One (Gal 1:10). No matter how short or how long the season of ministry you’re in is, may you fight the good fight, finish the race, and keep the faith.

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