Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Our God is UNHINDERED!

[This is from one talk I gave at our April 23, 2016 Washington State Moms in Prayer Getaway Unhindered.]

We often sing about our God, praising Him and declaring our beliefs.
 
But … what do you and I really believe about the Lord?
 
How do we picture Jesus?
 
Perhaps our picture of Him reveals His passion, such as when, with a whip in hand, He drove the moneychangers out of His Father’s House of Prayer. Perhaps we see Him tenderly lifting a widow’s son off his death carriage and giving him back to his mother. Or perhaps we see Him gathering up the little children to snuggle on His lap. Possibly we see Him compassionately feeding the thousands that gathered to hear Him speak in the wilderness. Do we picture Him purposeful and assertive as He spoke truth in the face of hypocritical religious leaders?
 
These are among the many “pictures” we see in Scripture. But one thing is for certain, we see Him choosing to boldly without hindrance walk out His Father’s plan and purpose for His life.
 
Jesus was and is unhindered. That’s the truth of Scripture.
 
Our God is unhindered.
 
No one can stop Him or thwart His plans. From Genesis 37, we learn Joseph dreamed—twice—that his family would bow down to him. Even his father, Jacob, found that difficult to hear. In verse 20, as they plotted to get rid of Joseph, his brothers said “we’ll see what becomes of his dreams.” But, God’s plans were unhindered by theirs.
 
The cross is another example. That certainly backfired in the enemy’s face! To his chagrin, he found he’d now have to deal with temples—houses of prayer—all over the world! God’s plan!
 
Our God is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and on His throne. He can make a way when there is no way. Jeremiah 32:17, 27 remind us that nothing—nada—is too hard for Him.
 
Christine Caine wrote:
 “…nothing can hinder His plan. …
No promise is too hard for God to keep.
No prayer is too hard for God to answer.
No problem is too hard for God to solve.
No person is too hard for God to save.
No mountain is too big for God to move.
No need is too great for God to meet.
There is nothing our God cannot do!”
 
Our God is unhindered: unblocked, unbound, unbridled, unchanged in His character and eternal plan; He is unconfined, unconstrained, uncontrolled, undefeated, never undone, unencumbered, unfettered, unimpeded, uninhibited, unmoved from His purposes, unobstructed, unprevented, unreserved, unrestrained, unrestricted.
 
Our God is unhindered!           
 
Do we believe it?
 
Job did. He said—
 
If He takes away, who can hinder Him? Who can say to Him, ‘What are You doing?’
Job 9:12 (NKJ)
 
But He is unique and who can turn Him? And what His soul desires, that He does.
Job 23:13 (NASB)
 
Even the foreign ruler Nebuchadnezzar recognized God is unhindered. Daniel 4:35
 
The Pharisee Gamaliel, Paul’s Rabbi, knew this when he told the Jewish Council, “if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it.” Acts 5:39
 
The Lord God Himself in His own words confirms this truth. Just read Isaiah 14:24, 27.
 
Tozer wrote: “God moves undisturbed and unhindered toward the fulfillment of those eternal purposes that He purposed in Christ Jesus before the world began.”
 
Do we believe it?
 
Dorothy Sayers wrote: “The people who hanged Christ never, to do them justice, accused him of being a bore—on the contrary, they thought him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround him with an atmosphere of tedium. We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified him ‘meek and mild,’ and recommended him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies.”
 
And Jill Carattini wrote: “God who moves unhindered among ordinary people, touching life and history, is not the tame and therapeutic being we attempt to package.”
 
That’s what Job recognized of God when he said, “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be hindered.” (42:2)
 
Chris Jordan wrote: “Regardless of the circumstances, God is powerful, and He is not thwarted, He is not contained, He is not opposed by man in a way that prohibits Him.”
 
Take a Selah moment to think about these statements.
 
Our God is unhindered.
 
In the Book of Revelation, we are reminded by Jesus Himself—He was there in the beginning, at the very end He will be there, and He is in control of everything in between. He is standing today in the midst of His Church. His eternal plan is progressing. He is unhindered!
 
So, how should we respond?  Romans 14:7, in the Amplified Bible, says, “None of us lives for himself [for his own benefit, but for the Lord], and none of us dies for himself [but for the Lord].”
 
In Mark 12:41-44, Jesus was at the temple watching people put money into the temple treasury. He pointed to a widow who, though obviously poor, put in everything—all. In essence, she “stepped” into the offering plate. BUT, what could have hindered her?
 
Because our enemy sees believers—us—as those who threaten his territory, he will plot and scheme to slow us down and/or stop us. In the Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis alerted us to the fact that one of the devil’s main aims is to hinder, especially to hinder our prayers. To instead do that to him—to hinder him, we need to throw off what hinders as the writer of Hebrews 12:1 tells us.
 
What things do you need to drop at the cross? Fear…worry…unforgiveness…anger…bitterness…?
 
By throwing these things off, we are enabled to get up and move forward unhindered. The truth is we cannot go from here to there without leaving “here.” But, Michael Youssef wrote, “the same Lord who saved your soul and has sustained so many others will enable you to overcome—all the way to the finish line.”
 
So, let’s make sure we are not carrying anything that hinders our God’s power in our lives. Let’s drop those hindrances, those stones, so we are free and unhindered to move forward in boldness. Remember, we have a High Priest who is not only able to empathize with our weaknesses but is able to give us what we need to be unhindered by them.
 
That is because—
 
Our God is unhindered!
 
 
 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

God’s Got This

Recently, the statement was made that God’s not going to fix this. The truth is He will but to do so now would mean going against His promises and would also mean giving mankind what it deserves.
 
A friend of mine was in a meeting once, a secular club-type meeting, when the person up front prayed for God to give them what they deserve. My friend immediately thought, “No!” That’s because we all, all of us, deserve to be charcoal briquettes.
 
Thank the Lord for His promise to Adam and Eve of a Savior—Himself—coming to the earth to be God with us. What they lost through sin that tainted all of mankind would be restored through a Redeemer. And that promised Redeemer would fix things.
 
But, we who are in this land of the living have a choice to make—just as Adam and Eve made a choice in the Garden. Who are we going to believe? The enemy who is the father of lies and murder? Or the One who came to earth as a Child to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life? Therein lies the “fix” that is needed.
 
Thankfully, God will keep His promises. He will fix this at the proper time. In the meantime, the real problem, as a listener of KLOVE radio commented, is not the presence of evil but the absence of light.
 
We live in a fallen world. That we see evil/darkness is to be expected. It has been so since history began.
 
Light is what is needed. Light has power over darkness. Every time you light a lamp, you know it to be true.
 
Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:4 that “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (ESV) For this very reason the prayers of those who live in light are absolutely necessary to reach the lost, perhaps the reason we are left in the world. We battle the “god of this world” and his cohorts with the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, in prayer, just as Jesus fought Satan in the wilderness with “It is written…” and the enemy fled.
 
Paul also wrote of our responsibility as lights a few verses later: “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” This wasn’t just Paul’s and Timothy’s duty. It is ours as well.
 
What the world desperately needs is light!
 
May our prayers go over the head of the god of this world to the King who sits on the Throne and bring light to reign in our children’s lives and in our schools.
 
 
 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Filled

Outside my office window stands a maple tree. It was a seedling, a gift from another tree in the neighborhood, that grew in our backyard for a few years and then was moved to the side yard. When autumn comes, the leaves change from green to golden and red.
 
But, there is a stage, a process if you pay attention, when some of the green leaves are edged in red. Then, that red slowly fills in completely, sometimes while the leaf is green and other times while it is turning gold.

 
This is not unlike the process that happens to followers of Jesus. There is a process, sanctification, which happens from that first step of faith to the time when we are completely filled with Jesus Christ. It’s a process the Apostle Paul called of faith to faith, glory to glory. (Romans 1:17; 2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJ)
 
This is important to remember as we pray for our children. They are being grown “up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.”
 
But practicing the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Christ, who is the head.
Ephesians 4:15 (NET)
 
So, praying moms, keep praying the Word of Life over your children’s lives. And multiply your prayers by gathering with other moms to carry your children together to Jesus. Your faith and His Word will bring His work into your children’s lives. (Mark 2:1-12)
 
Moms in Prayer International impact children and schools worldwide
for Christ by gathering mothers to pray.
 
It’s easy to join or start a Moms in Prayer group. Just go to the website, https://momsinprayer.org/, and click on “Get Involved.”

 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Houses of Prayer

It’s pretty clear that it didn’t take long for our enemy to realize what deception he the deceiver fell under when he orchestrated the crucifixion, especially thinking it was “his” plan. When Christ rose from the dead, the gift of redemption became a reality to all who follow Him. And that means that no longer was the Temple the one “house of prayer.” Instead, spreading all over the world are individual temples, houses of prayer—in homes, in businesses, in parks, in cars, in schools, in shopping centers—nowhere that the people of the Lord walk is immune. It also means that the enemy has to fight harder and go after individuals who take the Lord’s command seriously—of whom you are among.
 
Take this most seriously:
A yes on earth is yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven.
What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this.
When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it,
my Father in heaven goes into action.
And when two or three of you are together because of me,
you can be sure that I’ll be there.
Matthew 18:18-20The Message (MSG)
 
Yes! Lincoln Brewster’s song, “There is Power,” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=8&v=UoOJwel1CQU] echoes Christ's words that speak to why we take it seriously to gather together and not go it alone. More power!! Just like Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 4:12, “Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” But, it’s also another reason why the enemy fights one accord prayer. It's a battle.
 
Remember, so you are not in despair or disheartened, that because you take being a “house of prayer” seriously, to abide in your strength of life—your Forza di Vita—and keep yourself under His good hand. It will make all the difference and help you fend off the enemy’s darts with your shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16). You’ll be able to keep on keeping on as Ezra and Nehemiah.
 
My prayer, Father, for us is that we will follow the example of these two men, Ezra and Nehemiah. I ask that Your good hand be over us all as we study Your Words and then seek to do them and teach them as Ezra modeled. May we have courage through Your steadfast love amidst difficulty to take it seriously to gather to pray, remembering who You are. May we build up the wall of prayer around the next generation and know that "the hand of our God is for good on all who seek Him" (Ezra 8:22 ESV). In the Name above all names, Jesus, amen. So be it.


My house shall be a house of prayer
Isaiah 56:7; Matthew 21:13; Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46 (ESV)



Monday, August 10, 2015

The Fingers of Your Mind

In high school, it was required to take a foreign language. So I took Spanish and did very well. In fact, after the two required years, I was a class aide for a third year.
 
Also, in high school, the church I attended gave campers a chance to earn half of their camp fee by memorizing verses and repeating them to a sponsor. So I did. I actually needed to in order to offset the cost of camp.
 
I was pretty much an A student in Spanish and I always had half my camp fee paid for, but…what you don’t use, you lose. Or, in other words, what you don’t use, you don’t really “own.” It slips from the fingers of your mind.
 
Today, I can understand verbally some Spanish (if a person speaks slowly) and I can get the gist of something written in Spanish, sometimes. Many of the verses I memorized I can recall, but more often than not, especially with all of the modern day translations, I have to admit there are few that I can actually recite if asked (being put on the spot nerves play into that, too).
 
However, since being in Moms in Prayer and praising the Lord using His own words as well as praying scripturally for my children, I am more and more able to bring to mind certain scriptures. I can’t always say I remember the passage address exactly, but I can usually find it in my Bible.  I “owned” them in prayer. In fact, I find myself more and more not just praying an asked request but working that request into praying Scripture.
 
I think, in some way, this ownership makes us more like Jeremiah who said (20:9) that he could not help but speak God’s powerful word, which was like a fire burning in his heart. Owned Scripture is something hidden in our hearts that the Holy Spirit brings to our minds and lips at the appropriate time so we can speak it or pray as He desires. As Henry M. Morris wrote, “The word of fire in the burning heart cannot be contained, but must be proclaimed.”
 
I will meditate on Your precepts,
And contemplate Your ways.
I will delight myself in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your word.
Psalm 119:15-16 (NKJ)
 
Father, I pray for your daughters that we will meditate on Your precepts and contemplate Your ways.  May we delight ourselves in Your statutes and not forget Your Word—may it not slip from the fingers of our minds. Father, may each of us “own” Your Word so that Your Spirit bring Your “fire” to our minds and to our lips so we can speak it in prayer as You desire. In the Name above all names, Jesus, so be it.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Talking to nobody

My husband is an amateur radio operator. The sound of voices or Morse code coming from his radios is often and easily heard throughout our small home. A while back, he came out of his “Ham” room to tell me, “This guy’s still talking. I’m timing him. It’s been 12 minutes. I wonder if he’s talking to nobody.” Well, obviously, my husband had been sort of listening, but also it was apparent that no one could get a word into the “conversation.” Certainly, it didn’t seem to be that this man was carrying on a dialogue. It really was entirely possible that those who had been chatting with him had literally tuned out his monologue.
 
Has that ever happened to you? Someone monopolizes the conversation and the others tune out?
 
What about when gathered to pray with others? Has one person prayed on and on and on putting all their thoughts into words until you are no longer “in the room” but off thinking about, for example, whether or not you remembered to put the flag up on the mailbox?
 
One thing Moms in Prayer has taught me and thousands of other women is the ability to pray short simple prayers so we can pray conversationally with others. It’s that acronym, KISS—keep it short and simple. This allows for real conversation and passion in prayer on one subject at a time and allows, more importantly, for the Holy Spirit to be a part of our conversation. He who indwells believers desires the opportunity to prompt us to speak His thoughts into the subject of our prayers, which He often does through our different voices.
 
But we are seldom discipled in this type of prayer. Most often, we do like the man on the radio, say all we can say till someone jumps in when we take a breath. We’ve not learned how to bathe one subject at a time together passionately with the Lord in prayer.
 
Again, notice I said “together” and “with.” By keeping our prayers simple and short, we pray not only together but with the Holy Spirit. This is praying in one accord, which is “agreeing together as directed and energized by the Holy Spirit.” (Moms in Prayer International Booklet)
 
One accord in Hebrew, yachad, reveals oneness of striving together, not going alone. It carries the same meaning in the Greek word homothymadon. It’s being of one mind, with one accord, or with one passion. Interestingly, Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon in defining yachad refers to Job 38:7, “When all the morning stars sang together.” Can’t you just imagine the beauty and passion behind those words?
 
This is the powerful and passionate way of prayer exemplified by the early church. This is what Acts 4:24 (NASB) speaks to:
 
…they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said, “O Lord, it is You who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them…
 
It also reminds me of the Beveres’ words in “Girls with Swords.” In 1 Samuel 14:6-7, when Jonathan and his armorbearer boldly take on the enemy, the armorbearer tells Jonathon, “Do all that is in your heart. Go then; here I am with you, according to your heart” (NKJ). The Beveres wrote:
 
Suddenly there is light in their eyes and vigor in their stance. Something powerful happens when two warriors agree and boldly declare God’s faithfulness and their commitment to a cause.”
 
This is the same amazing thing that happens when we moms come together to passionately pray—talk together—in one accord on a particular subject matter, like a child, before the Throne. Something powerful happens!
 
 
 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Out Loud

This whole group devoted themselves to constant prayer with one accord: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (the Zealot), Judas (son of James), a number of women including Mary (Jesus’ mother), and some of Jesus’ brothers.
Acts 1:13-14 (The Voice)
 
 
When the early church prayed in one accord, as the New Testament records, it was necessary to pray out loud so they could pray in conversational agreement, which is only possible when one knows what another is praying. It’s sort of like sitting at the dinner table with family and friends. In order to have a conversation with each other, you have to voice your words. Only then can you have a conversation or a discussion on a certain topic.
 
Importantly, when our prayers are voiced, the Holy Spirit speaks out loud through us. Have you ever thought about that?
 
Because the Holy Spirit indwells believers, when we come together to pray and speak our prayers out loud, we give Him an opportunity to use us to encourage and strengthen each other. His voice, so to speak, is heard from one to another's ears as He prays through us, through our own personalities, our own box of thinking.
 
Another important thing about praying out loud is not only are you thinking your prayers, your own ears are hearing your prayers. That’s a powerful thing, especially if you are praying out loud the Word of God.
 
But, I think one of the most important things about praying out loud is our enemy is hearing our prayers that we are sending over his head as prince of this world to the King and Ruler of the universe. This is one thing I love about the ministry of Moms in Prayer International. The Lord God uses this ministry to teach us to pray out loud scripturally and specifically in one accord conversational prayer. And He uses this ministry to multiply prayer across the face of this earth by gathering women to pray together.
 
Think about that. You are one person praying for your child in your personal prayer time. You are putting your prayers before the Throne. But, when you gather with other women who join you in praying for your child (and you for theirs), you have just increased the prayers for your child by at least double. And not only are those prayers before the Throne, they are in the ears of your child’s enemy who has no choice but to bow to the will of the King of the universe concerning your requests.