Tuesday, February 23, 2016


  Some time ago I read the following in an e-mail – “When I look at myself, I see how desperately I need to change. When I look at the Church, I see how desperately we all need to change. And I'm so hungry for that change, I can hardly stand it. I do thank God for what He's done. I am grateful for it. But I can't be satisfied because we're still so far short of all He has for us.”
     There are times the Lord allows us to experience what I call times of “Divine Discontent.”  Author Tommy Tenney says it this way - It’s like having a “compulsive addiction for God that makes you tired of church games, man’s manipulations, and passionless worship services consisting of religious gymnastics & emotional hype designed to excite & stroke the flesh.”   And recently while reading a book by John Bevere I cam e across this statement: “We’ll hunger for what we feed on.”  That reminded me of a teaching I did some time ago & I want to share with you. I titled it Hungry for More of God. Once again I’ve used an acrostic, this time for the word HUNGER.  Let’s see how we can feed our hunger for God.
Hear His voice 
"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God."' Rev 2:7
     We must be willing to hear his voice. Then when we hear his voice we must obey what the Lord is saying to us. It’s not always easy. But being obedient will make your life easier. Believe me, I’ve been there.
Undistracted Worship – 2 Sam. 6:20-23,
     We must come to a point when nothing will distract us from our worship of God. Undistracted worship will lead you to have a passion for wanting to get close to God. When you are in his presence you will have thoughts like: “if I can just touch the hem of His garment” or
“If I could just see Him” or “If I could just get His attention…” You get to this point where it’s all you can do to maintain your composure & you think you’re going to burst. You don’t know whether to laugh or cry… That’s a good place to be in the Lord.  For some other examples of people who pressed through see Luke 19:1-6 and Mark 10:48-52.
    But Simon answered and said to Him, "Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net." Luke 5:5
We need to be determined that we are moving forward with the Lord regardless of what comes our way or what things look like in the natural.
Grasping for More
     My soul follows close behind You; your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63:8
Quoting author Tommy Tenney again - “A God chaser is a person whose hunger exceeds his reach... a person whose passion for God’s presence causes him to desire more.”  Too many of us put limits on God. It’s time to break out of our religious box… God is bigger than our box!
Exalt the Lord
     “You are my God, and I will praise You; you are my God, I will exalt You.”  Psalm 118:28
Take time to praise the Lord. Sing to him. Read from the Psalms – out loud. Let your whole life praise the Lord! Singer Chris Christian puts it this way: “Worship is more than just singing a song, it all that you say and everything that you do.” He is worthy of all our praise!
 Rearrange Priorities
     "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  Matthew 6:33
This means that your relationship with God should hold more importance than anything else in your life.  Now, that doesn’t give you an excuse to be irresponsible. We all still have jobs to go to, families to take care of, etc.  This just means that if we will give God first place in our life he will take care of everything else.
     OK, let’s try to pull all of this together. Here’s one more quote from Tommy Tenney – “God is not going to pour out His Spirit where He doesn't find hunger.”  My friend, are you hungry for more? Cry out to God! He is waiting to hear your voice.  It’s time for us to crawl out of our safe boxes and trust God to be all HE IS!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

God is a Consuming Fire

       Thinking about this led me to Hebrews 12:28,29  (ESV) 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire."

     Recently I found myself singing the words a song titled “Take Me In” by Dave Browning. “The words are: “Take me past the outer courts/And through the holy place/Past the brazen altar/Lord, I want to see Your face./Pass me by the crowds of people/And the priests who sing their praise/I hunger and thirst for Your righteousness/But it’s only found one place. So take me in to the Holy of Holies/Take me in by the blood of the Lamb/So take me in to the Holy of Holies/Take the coal, cleanse my lips, here I am”.
     Let’s look at how the fire of God can affect our lives.
The Fire of God Purifies - "But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire and like launderer's soap.” Malachi 3:2
     It is only the Lord who can purify us. There is nothing we can do to make our self  “more clean” for God. The only thing that can cleanse us is the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Once we accept God’s gift of salvation the cleaning process begins. And it is just that, a process. While some things may change instantly, for most of us it is a process of growth and maturing in our relationship with the Lord.
The Fire of God Consumes - For our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:29
     The fire of God will consume us. The definition for the word consume here is “to do away with completely.”  In other words, the fire of God will remove everything from our life that is a hindrance to his life flowing through us. This happens when we spend time in the presence of God.  I’ve said it before, when we’re in the presence of God in a matter minutes He can radically change our lives.
The Fire of God Empowers - John answered, saying to all, "I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire”. Luke 3:16
Another scripture - Acts 1:8 -"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
     In the natural, wherever there is a fire you can see power. A fire is a powerful thing of destruction. When God’s presence is in our lives we will have power. When we allow the fire of God to consume us, and the Spirit of God to come upon us, we will be empowered to live godly lives, to fulfill his calling on our life and be a witness to others.
     Having said this there is one more point to consider. What will keep the fire of God burning in our lives? . We need just a spark to keep it going.  Let me explain that with a short acronym
Submission - humble ourselves under the authority of God’s Word daily. – James 4:10
Prayer - pray daily  - Ephesians 6:18
Approaching - seek God’s face in intimacy – Psalms 27:8
Repentance - turn from our sins – Acts 2:38
Kneeling – Worship Him! – Psalm 95:6
     If we will be diligent to do these things we can be assured that the fire of God will  burn out in our lives.  I would like to close with the chorus to a song titled “Refiner’s Fire”. Let it be a prayer for each of us as we walk through the process of becoming more like him. Remember, for gold to get it’s worth, it must be burned in the fire but the goldsmith.
Here’s the chorus: “My heart's one desire/is to be holy/set apart for You Lord/I choose to be holy/set apart for you my master/ready to do your will.”
     Until next time, let the fire of God burn!