Sunday, September 9, 2012

I Wonder if God Rides a Harley?

Mike and I went for a ride on the motorcycle one time. It was a beautiful day—hot and yet perfect. I am always amazed at the temperature changes when we pass a stream or just turn a curve. I do not understand air currents—Mike does because he was a pilot but I do not, I just enjoy it.

While we were riding Mike rested his left arm on my knee and leaned back into me. I love it when he does that. No idea why just a warm, fuzzy, united feeling. This time, however, I heard the Lord say. “I love it when you lean into Me.”

There are so many circumstances in life where I need to lean into Him and instead I try to drive the bike. I cannot. It is physically impossible. I am not strong enough. I am not coordinated enough. It is ridiculous to even try. So why do I? 

All of life is like a motorcycle ride. The changes in scenery, temperature, smells, elevation and sounds are so much like our daily walk with Christ. We are just along for the ride. If we try to do the driving it is disastrous. We can lean forward into Him for protection from the bugs, the weather, the road dirt and anything else that comes along. Or, we can sit tall, see everything around us and enjoy the force of the wind, the changes in air temperature, the sights and smells. He is totally relaxed and if we allow He will affectionately rest an arm on our knee just to let us know He loves us. When He leans back it is to not only show us the affection He has for us but to allow us to draw from His strength, His power, His love.

When Mike and I ride I am never nervous, never scared—just totally relaxed. I do laugh most of the time. In fact, I get embarrassed because I cannot quit laughing. I get so much pleasure from sitting on the back of that bike with him I don’t even have anything to compare it to.

Do I enjoy my ride with God that much? Not always. I do not laugh through a lot of life. Why? It is all temporary anyway. Do I have to understand it all? No, just like I do not get air currents. I just enjoy the changes. What is there today that should be able to steal the sheer delight and enjoyment of my ride through life with God? Nothing. How about you?

Nehemiah 8:10 NIV
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

The thing is the enemy wants your strength—how can you pray when you are focused on you? Do you see someone who floats in and out of joy? Someone who is floundering? Someone who has not realized that the ride through life is a delight? Someone who struggles every time there is a bump in life?

They need intercession. We are a self-centered people. If we see something it is for a reason. You can walk away and leave them floundering, but we reap what we sow. We also get a double portion for those we pray for (Job 42:10).

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Let's Go Shopping!

Big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now.”

You know the line. You know the scene: she goes into the boutique to buy some clothes with a pocket full of cash and the snobby women would not wait on her?

At one time, a long time ago,  I was fat—not a little, not over weigh, fat, morbidly obese. Nothing fit me. I either made dresses or had them made. I was miserable and I am sure it showed. I was shopping with a friend—well she was shopping I was just along for the ride. She was wealthy—I was not. 

We went into a lingerie boutique. Personally I had never been in a boutique quite like this—they met her with champagne—seated her on a lovely settee, asked what she was looking for and brought a variety of items.

My friend needed a fancy negligee for her daughter’s wedding night. She wanted g-strings for a shower. She was looking for panty sets to take on a honey moon. I was looking at the negligees when I was asked not to touch things. It was not loud enough for anyone to hear, not to embarrass me just enough to let me know I did not belong. I picked up a g-string-- $125.  That was more than my electric bill when I used the air conditioning…I was WAY out of my league. She told me that there was NOTHING in this store that would fit me. Duh. I was so fat there was nothing in ANY store that was going to fit me. I did not touch anything else but wandered around just looking and observing. 

My friend picked out a negligee. $7K the robe was around $10K. She picked up a half dozen g-strings. She also added a bra for the wedding dress, a couple of cute little bra sets. Probably $25K total. I stayed by the door just watching. We had not spoken while we were in the store. I was so ashamed because I did not belong and concerned my presence was embarrassing her. I put my hand on the door to leave and she turned to me, “Just a minute Sally.”

I cringed. Now they knew I was with her and the lady who had never moved more than a foot from me stepped away. I was totally humiliated and in the midst of my own despair I almost missed what happened. When everything was rung in, when everything was wrapped in tissue, when everything was placed in bags and they were ready for her check (this was WAY before the movie) she said, “This is my friend. You gave me champagne and offered her nothing. You seated me—you followed her. You waited on me—you told her she was not good enough for anything in your store. Since she is not good enough for this store this store is not good enough for me to spend this money.” She turned and headed towards me and the door.

I was so shocked I could not function. She had to put her arm around me to get the door open and she gently guided me out. I burst into tears. I told her to go back and get her lovely things. I apologized for embarrassing her. I blubbered.

She hushed me. She let me know how important I was to her. She knew the shop owner and was going to call. She was livid.  We went to another shop—arm in arm. We laughed. We shopped. We went to lunch….

I have thought a lot about that day—the rejection replaced by acceptance. The shame released though kind words. The self-hatred destroyed by loving considerations. The rigid fear of what people thought about me shattered in the realization that a stranger’s opinion is not my guiding factor. The self-centered introspection replaced by a heart that looks for others who are hurting.

When you are out and about are you self-absorbed or observant—looking for people who need prayer? When someone talks to you do you listen to what is not being said or do you filter what you hear through stereo-types and prejudices?

What is intercession to you? Just a prayer here and there when it is convenient or makes you look good? Or, are you ever watching what God is showing you? Listening to that whisper? The gifts are not for your personal entertainment. Neither are they to make you look good in front of a crowd. The gifts are to convince the unbelievers, to encourage those who need it and help the hurting or confused. They are to edify, correct and promote growth. The gifts are also powerful weapons of intercession.

Luke 13
The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree
He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’”

Be alert in the market place.
Be aware of those around you. Listen to those who talk to you.
Pray and keep the intercession lines open.
Don’t let any “one” be lost because there was no intercessor to dig around its roots, fertilize it, water it…..We are looking for fruit here. 

Big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now--for souls that is...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Are You on a Cycle or in a Cycle?

It is funny how life works—all of life basically. It cycles. You know the whole “Circle of life” thing. But seriously is there a cycle? I think so. People are born, people die. Teens become adults and recognize the truths their parents tried to teach them—the ones they thought were total foolishness are now the same things they try to teach to their own children. But the “circle” I am talking about is more than a pattern set into random motion in a random world. It is the system God uses.

Innocence broken by sin becomes conscience and murder enters destroying that era.  Government is introduced and the hierarchy of animals and man becomes solidified when they get off the ark but promise replaces it with a word to a couple desperate for a child.  Moses brings the Law and freedom from Egypt and Jesus bring grace and freedom from Sin. The Kingdom age is hidden like a mystery but a mystery which is hidden within the church so just like in all the other eras the ones who know, know. The tabernacle imitates Heaven. Each piece has its purpose and yet it means something else too—a circle if you will. I could write a whole book just on the circles but instead I will bring you to the one at hand.

Revivals have gone on for generations. We get close to God and move in the loving revelation He provides. We shine with His glory—then the next generation who grew up thinking this outpouring of the spirit is “commonplace” and “nothing special” because it is a way of life becomes more and more lackadaisical, less involved, less in love with the Lord, less radical. You can see it back to Adam and Eve.  Bill Gothard said, “Whatever you allow in moderation your children will do to excess.”   I have seen that proven to be true over and over.

In the 70’s the Jesus movement was in full force and the generation of “free love” was being shown that true free love came at a great cost to the giver. The Spirit is again moving across a generation of non-believers or “used to be believers” drawing and wooing them. The age of so-called sophistication knowledge is being given revelation and understanding that makes kindergarden seem like a phd. The movement of the spirit is destroying preconceived religious thought and moving into a realization of who the Holy Spirit actually is.

In the Old Testament God was revealed to man. In the gospels more of the revelation of the truth of Jesus the Messiah is made known. From Acts the Holy Spirit was revealed to all mankind in a way that was only experienced by the prophets in the days of old.

You have the option at this point in time to get into the circle of restoration of the power of the Holy Spirit—the outpouring of knowledge, wisdom, discernment, miracles, signs, wonders—this fullness of time that brings the Trinity into a true relationship with all three or not….

As an intercessor you have the option to suit up, get into the war and follow His lead or lay it down and walk away. What is your decision?