Category Archives: God

Why Easter Is So Awesome

Easter is all about God's Great PlanEaster is a reminder for us to celebrate God’s Great Plan. It’s not just a day to have fun with the kids. It’s not even a day to marvel that Jesus rose from the dead. It’s a day to remember why He did it. I call it God’s Great Plan, not just because it’s a good idea, but because of its massive design.

God made the universe and put us in it so we would become His family. Before a single word of creation was spoken, He knew every name and everything everything we would go through. He created a way to relate to us from heaven, and though He knew we would fail, He did what only God could do. He sent His Son, part of Himself, to make a way for His Great Plan to be ours. When Jesus raised from the dead, He took the keys of death from Satan and now hold our future in His hands.

We are each made with a God-shaped hole in our heart that only He can fill. We all feel the need to be with Him, to have that place in our heart filled, but we don’t recognize it. So we try to fill it with other relationships, drugs or alcohol, or activities that drive us relentlessly. We even try to fill it by going to church and doing good deeds. But God’s Great Plan has always been to fill that place in our heart with Himself. That’s the part of the plan that’s simply outrageous and mind-blowing. That God, who spoke the worlds into existence, wants to live inside us is far beyond our ability to comprehend. Yet, that ‘s what Easter is all about. He sacrificed Himself out of a divine love that we have no ability to fully understand. His plan has always been for us to live in intimate communion. And when He moves into that God-shaped hole in your heart, He brings it all — the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead.

He is quiet. He is patient. He will call you softly to Himself and wait for you to 1. respond and invite Him in, and 2. discover who He is. That can take years. That’s ok. It’s the journey that matters. But when you realize the vastness of His plan for you and invite Him in to fill that place that’s never been filled before, you’ll see why it’s such a perfect fit. You were meant to live in Him and with Him. Easter reminds us of the biggest, most important decision of our lives.

My Experience Of The Presence Of God

Experiencing the presence of God.It is a danger to prescribe any experience of the presence of God as a formula. Don’t do it. Instead, add it to your list of what is. God is multidimensional and our experiences with Him will flux and flow  with Him. This is one adventure that I had.

I have been asking God to know more of Him. I am in such need of His presence in my life. I am too quick to judge. Too quick to protest. I need His kindness, His goodness, His grace in my life. So I ask Him daily for more of Him. Yesterday I told Him that I wanted to soak in His presence so that His very essence would bleed into my spirit, my soul, my body, my flesh, my bones, my DNA. I wanted to feel Him saturate me.

I went to my friend’s house for a time of worship. We few friends get together on a regular basis and just worship. We sang worship songs, one after another for about an hour, then something began to happen. Actually two things began to happen at the same time. I suddenly noticed that I was smelling incense. It was very strong, particularly in a spot to my immediate left. I looked around to see if there was a candle or incense burning near me, but there was nothing. It was the third time I smelled the perfume of heaven during worship.

The second thing that happened was that I began to feel very heavy. I was sitting on a couch and laid my head back against the wall, but I still felt too heavy to sit up. So I kicked off my shoes and curled up with my head on a pillow. I closed my eyes and felt the peace of God flow into me. That’s all. No voice from heaven. No transcendental vision. Just peace. And when I laid down, the smell of incense went away.

When my friends noticed me curled up on the couch, they were concerned that something was wrong, but I smiled to let them know I was fine, so they let me be. I was grateful that God sent the perfume of heaven to me to let me know that He was directing what was happening. I would have been concerned that my sudden weakness was physical otherwise.

After a while, the others left off their prayers and I felt ready to join them in communion. I sat up feeling well and truly soaked, like the weight of a sponge that was saturated with water. The weight of peace on me was something my body felt. I asked if anyone else smelled the incense. They did not.

Today, I still feel the residual weight of that peace. I want to carry it with me always. Yes, my God is with me. I feel His peace. No, I’m not afraid. I feel His peace. I know my heart’s desires will be filled. I feel His peace. And now I am greedy. I want more. I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, and I want more.

Look Around — God Is Here

God is seen clearly in the beauty of His creation.Sometimes we have to stop to consider beauty. If you’ve ever stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon, on the beach of an ocean at sunset, or a snowy hilltop in the morning, you have the opportunity to see the eternal. Not in the sense that these things will last forever, they won’t. At some point, there will be a new heaven and a new earth. But the serenity, peace, and beauty of a thing comes straight from the One who created it. Look at the pictures of snowflakes and see the delicate creativity of each one. It’s more than impressive, it’s awe inspiring.

I like to spend time by myself in a place that makes me look into the ethereal beauty of something that’s  bigger than me, even if it’s the face of a tiny flower. I see the heart and nature of God. I see Him. And one day I will stand before His throne and look into His eyes and recognize that I’ve seen them before.

The Best Thing To Do When You Just Don’t Know

There are times when the only answer is to just set everything aside and go to God. And by that I don’t mean that we don’t go to God when we have specific prayers, or in our time of worship. But we all go through seasons where we feel adrift. We’re not even sure how to pray, or tell others how to pray for us.

God understands that. He’s not judging you for not knowing what to do with yourself. He’s there for you, and the best thing you can do is to get as close to Him as you can.

When You said, SSeek His faceeek My face, my heart said to You, Your face, Lord, I will seek. (Ps 27:8)

Don’t look for answers. Don’t try to figure everything out. Just seek His face. The closer you get to the throne, the less confusing everything else becomes. There is peace there. There is comfort, and that’s what you need. You need to know it’s going to be ok. You need to know that He’s got it under control and will never leave you.

Seek His face and it will work out. That’s the promise of God.

if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chron 7:14)

Experience God Face To Face — Go For It

It’s obvious that some people have a special relationship with God. They hear Him clearly and move in signs and wonders. Who are these people? What have they got that the rest of us don’t have? They have a desire to know God deeply. And when I see that I think, if they can do it so can I.

Face to face with GodI love all the stories of people who became friends with God. So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. (Ex 33:11) This is what I want. And what’s awesome is that we live in a different covenant than Moses did. We can have the Holy Spirit in us for the asking. Experiencing God doesn’t have to be so eventful that it is recorded in history.

Do you want that amazing relationship with God where you talk with Him face to face? Where you feel His presence descend on you with the full weight of His glory? Ask for it. Spend time before Him in worship and praise. Don’t ask Him to answer prayer, just worship Him. Allow your spirit to soar with Him. Be willing to let Him change you. An encounter with the God of the universe is going to change you. If you’re not willing to agree with that, then you’ll be broken in more ways than you know.

Experience God the way He wants to be known — not distant and terrifying, but massively loving and holy. Go after Him. As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. (Ps 42:1)

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock,and it will be opened to you. (Mat 7:7)

Why Did God Make Himself Invisible To Us?

Serving an invisible GodDon’t you think that God could have made it easier for us to know Him and serve Him if we could see Him? Doesn’t serving an invisible God seem — unrealistic? He could have set this up any way He wanted. Why this way?

I actually asked God that question. Here’s what I came away with. If we could see God, that would mean that He’d have to be in a certain place for us to go to, like a temple. If we were to go to Him in His temple, we’d naturally approach Him with a sense of awe. There’d always been a feeling of unworthiness in us because of the distance that a physical presence would impose. He would always be LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, the somewhat frightening figure we’d face, no matter how nice He wanted to look. Then we would leave there and go on about our lives.

But God understands relationship better than we do. When He puts His Spirit in us, we become one. He’s with us always. He knows our hopes and fears. We can feel His presence in a way that approaching Him in a temple would never offer. And when we go on about our lives, and He comes too. He never wanted distance. He always wanted relationship. And He didn’t want it forced. When we choose to serve Him, as in invisible God, He knows we mean it.

Serving an invisible God takes faith, but once He responds to that faith, He becomes more real than we thought. Faith in what we can’t see becomes the greater reality. Yes, it could have been different, but God’s ways are higher than ours. Thankfully.

When Deep Call To Deep, God Will Be More Than You Know

Get hungry for more of Him.When you love God with all your heart, your soul and your mind, something happens in your spirit. You get hungry for more. Suddenly those nice Bible stories aren’t enough. You want to dive into His Spirit until your are completely submerged in His presence.

And then something amazing happens. As you step toward Him, He steps toward you. Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; All Your waves and billows have gone over me. (Ps 42:7) He answers the deep hunger of your soul with the same intensity that you cry out to Him.

Do you wonder why you’re not getting dramatic breakthrough? Maybe it’s because you’re not hungry enough. Maybe you need that deep cry of your soul to well up to heaven. God will answer sincerity, but He pours out on intense desire for more of Him.

But it doesn’t stop there. As He answers your desire for more, you actually get hungry for even more! There is no end. The more you ask for, the more He will give. Soon, you are sharing the secret places of the Spirit with Him and walking in companionship with the Most High God.

Get hungry. Cry out for more. Dive in. You’re missing so much.

One True And Living God Is Everything That We Need

God is everything that we need.Polytheists believe in multiple gods because of human limitation. It’s just too hard to conceive that one God could  be all things. They have a god to bless grapes and wine, one god to bless fish, one god to bless childbirth, etc. One God with unlimited power and knowledge goes beyond what we can know in the natural.

 

That’s why there are so many names of God:

  • Jehovah Jireh – the Lord our provider
  • Jehovah Shalom – The Lord our peace
  • Jehovah Nissi – The Lord our banner
  • Jehovah Rapha – The Lord our healer
  • Jehovah Tsid-Kenu – The Lord our Righteousness
  • Jehovah Shammah – The Lord who is everywhere
  • Jehovah Sabaoth – The Lord our protector
  • Jehovah Raah – The Lord who leads us tenderly
  • Abba
  • Emmanuel
  • King of Kings
  • Lord of Lords
  • Savior
  • Alpha and Omega
  • Lion of Judah
  • Prince of Peace
  • Lamb of God
  • Bright and Morning Star
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Rose of Sharon
  • Comforter
  • Teacher
  • Brother
  • Friend

One God is everything that we need. He made sure that we were covered by His grace and power in every area of our lives. One true and living God. And the more we know Him, the more more infinite He becomes. He will always be everything to us, for eternity.

 

 

Don’t Be Offended For God

Sometimes just stay quiet.

Disagree with honor.

I recently came across someone’s post online that I didn’t agree with. They were expressing some doubt about the validity of a certain ministry that I respect and admire. I didn’t get irate, but I was annoyed. If the ministry was operating according to Biblical principles, why question them? How do people choose which scriptures to believe in and which they don’t?

Fortunately, I stopped myself from answering back and starting an online holy war. But I did talk to God about it. He said, “Don’t be offended for me.”

Whoa! What a good answer. As soon as I heard that, I realized that I was being offended for Him. I very quickly remembered that He doesn’t need my help. He’s very capable of managing His own PR.

It’s one thing to answer questions or clarify a misconception, but arguments lead nowhere. Give the issues to God and let Him work them out in peace. It saves a lot of ill will and bad feelings. There’s a lot of wisdom in staying quiet.

 

Read the first chapter of my book Crucible Heart

 

Keep You Eyes on God & You Won’t See the Valley of the Shadow of Death

If God is your shepherd, you are blessed.Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. (Ps 23:4)

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, or from the mailbox with a handful of bills, or stare at my five-year plan with no idea what I should be doing — God is with me. His name is Emmanuel, God with us. His rod and staff are there to guide me, if I choose to be guided.

Everything we face on a daily basis can be managed with divine insight and help. God knows everything we’re up against. He knows the dark future you can’t see into. He’s there to help. Be humble and ask. Listen with your heart. Be obedient to what you know to be true.

You may make mistakes along the way, but don’t fret about it. God knows and He still has a great plan for you, and that includes your mistakes. Your valley of the shadow of death is just another path that you walk with God. When your eyes are on Him, you don’t see anything scary along the way. He makes every walk a delight.

 

Read the first chapter of my book Crucible Heart