Swirling (Adventures in Faith series)

Do you enjoy roller coasters?

What about in your life: Do you enjoy roller coasters in your life?

Although answers to the first question may vary, most would answer a resounding “NO!” to the second one.

And yet, roller coasters of suffering and trials will be always be a part of our Christian experience.

Jesus told us this would be so:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

Job victoriously lived through a fierce roller coaster of trial and suffering. In it he lost his:

  • children
  • property
  • wealth
  • good reputation
  • health

Which of those have you lost during the roller coasters of trials and suffering Father has allowed in your life?

When our lives are swirling through trials & suffering, how do we anchor?

We anchor to the Truth

As a prophetic intercessor, Father often gives me pictures to illustrate pivotal truths about a circumstance or situation He has me interceding about.

Everyone involved was literally swirling inside and out by the fallout that had taken place. Many people had been affected. There was damage, destruction, discouragement, and despair running rampant.

As I was walking and interceding that day
There on the ground before me lay
a dirty, cracked dog dish someone had thrown away

And I knew right away that the Enemy was looking at us this way
with disgust and disdain
“You’re no better than dogs,” I could hear him viciously say

And with those piercing words still stinging on my ears
I picked up that dog dish with a vengeance
and declared to all the spiritual beings sneering there

Know that from this day forward this symbol of our shame and disgrace will be a valiant reminder for me to intercede and to believe that Jesus will redeem

I washed the dirt and slime away from the dog dish that day
and though it was still cracked and broken
it was no longer a discarded, useless, forgotten thing

It became a reminder and still is to this day
Of what Jesus, the Truth, courageously whispers to our fearful hearts

Because I help you, you will not be disgraced or put to shame.
Therefore set your face like flint
Knowing I AM the Redeemer of all
even of discarded, useless, forgotten things

Dog Days or Flint – based on Isaiah 50:7

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When God Weeps: Why Our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty by Joni Eareckson Tada & Steven Estes is an excellent resource for more encouragement in your trials and suffering.

Photo on Flickr by Scott Ableman

Exploring (Adventures in Faith series)

Remember Joshua?

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Numbers 13-14 gives the account of Joshua & Caleb’s words of faith about the Israelites entering the Promised Land.

What was it that gave Joshua and Caleb the strength and fortitude to stand against the 10 other leaders who had explored alongside them and to tell the Israelites that the Promised Land was within their reach?

But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it. – Numbers 14:24

Joshua and Caleb were the only adults of their generation of the Israelites to enter the Promised Land 40 years later.

The song, “The Battle of Jericho” has been sung by countless choirs and heard by countless congregations.

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But how many of Father’s dearly Beloved sons and daughters are actually passionate, willing, and committed to living with the kind of faith that enabled Joshua to be a part of the faith conquests that he was a part of?

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

What is the Jericho-like battle you’re facing today in your:

  • relationships
  • family
  • job
  • addictions
  • future
  • health
  • next step of obedience

Be Strong.

Be Courageous.

Do not be terrified.

Do not be discouraged.

But this is what the LORD says:

“Yes, captives will be taken from warriors,
and plunder retrieved from the fierce;
I will contend with those who contend with you,
and your children I will save.” – Isaiah 49:25

“Faith never denies reality but leaves room for God to grant a new reality!”Pastor Jim Cymbala

For more on the archaeological evidence behind the fall of Jericho:

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Photo on Flickr by Eamonn

 

Climbing (Adventures in Faith series)

Why do people climb rocks and mountains?

  • Challenge
  • Sense of accomplishment
  • Thrill of the climb
  • Adventure in the unknown

Whether or not you ever attempt to climb a mountain or rock; as a believer you are a faith climber.

Many times throughout your faith walk, Father is going to bring you to a mountain or rock and say,”My child, it’s time for us to climb.”

Moses experienced this.

His life can be broken up into 40 year increments:

Age 0 – 40 – Growing up in the palace of Pharoah as the adopted son of Pharoah’s daughter.

Age 40 – 80 – After murdering an Egyptian who was mistreating a Hebrew, Moses fled to Midian, married Jethro’s daughter, and tended Jethro’s sheep.

Age 80 -120 – God talked to Moses in a burning bush and commanded him to deliver His people, the Israelites, from their slavery to the Egyptians. Moses confronted Pharoah with God’s command to let His people go. Then led them in the wilderness on the long way to the Promised Land.

Moses faced many challenges in his faith climb.

  • Leaving the privileges and pampered life of Pharoah’s palace
  • Confronting Pharaoh
  • Overcoming his own feelings of personal inadequacy
  • 40 years of leading the Israelites with all of the problems that come with leading thousands of people on a difficult journey.

Moses had many difficult faith climbs over the course of his 120 years of life. Each climb required both faith and risk.

In whatever faith climb you find yourself facing, may you obediently take the risk and find that Father is with you every step of your climb.

Because real risking in faith can occur only in those areas of life
where we feel most impoverished and vulnerable, it never becomes something we are really comfortable with. For each layer of trust that builds up, another, more challenging risk is offered.

True faith choices, therefore, always feel like risks; they just go on, involving deeper and deeper levels of our being.

Each choice remains difficult; what really becomes conditioned in this process is simply our willingness and readiness to take the risks of faith. They never stop feeling like risks.

Strong Women, Soft Hearts, Paula Rinehart — originally taken
from Addiction & Grace, Gerald May

Take the risk, it will be more than worth it.

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Photo on Flickr by David Domingo

For more in this series:

Competent, Contagious, and Courageous

When’s the last time you have felt truly competent in something — be it work, ministry, sports, your hobby or pastime?

Competent is defined as:  having suitable or sufficient skill, knowledge, experience, etc., for some purpose; properly qualified (dictionary.com)

When’s the last time you didn’t attempt something because you felt incompetent (aka not competent; lacking qualification or ability; incapable — dictionary.com)

Most of the world lives by categorizing what they’ll do by what they feel competent at and then avoiding what they won’t do based on what they don’t feel competent at.

Is that the way Father has instructed His children through the ages?

  • Moses didn’t feel competent as a public speaker, yet Father called him to be a spokesperson to Pharaoh for the Israelites.
  • Jacob deceived his brother Esau and cheated him out of both his birthright and blessing, and yet Father made him the father of the 12 tribes of Israel (Gen 35:10).
  • Mary was a no-name teenage girl from an ordinary, low-income family; yet Father made her the mother of Jesus.
  • Rahab was a prostitute who helped protect the spies Joshua sent to scope out Jericho (Joshua 6), was saved when the city of Jericho perished, and was counted in the lineage of Jesus (Matt 1:5)
  • Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites, and yet Father sent an angel to him who announced, “When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.” (Judges 6:12)  He went forth and led an army of 300 in slaying the Midianites.

I could go on about Jeremiah, Daniel, Jonah and others who didn’t feel qualified or competent to carry out the tasks Father entrusted them.

For that matter, anyone living a life sold out to Christ could come up with a list of experiences and situations that they have been a part of where they didn’t feel qualified or competent to carry out those tasks.

In those moments, we have the choice to back away or to embrace the true source of our competency.

2 Corinthians 3:5

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.

Choosing His competency through us is the moment we become contagious and courageous to the world around us.

For it is in that moment that we are showcasing the freeing reality that “this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2 Cor 4:7)

Take a moment and watch this clip by Igniter Media, The March Of the Unqualified.

 

 

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