Thursday, February 20, 2014

No Whining.....

I have had a lot of prayer requests lately asking what to do about people who make everything about them. If you are praying for others they have it worse. If you are interceding for something they want the prayers for themselves. These people are a lot of work and they make other people uncomfortable. We don't wrestle against flesh and blood and as cliché as it sounds, some people cannot get the attention they think they need unless it is negatively.

One of the devil's main tricks is to cause you to miss the goodness of God. He did this in the garden with Eve. Satan wants you to question the value of all the things you think you do not have. In Eve's case she was supposed to leave one tree alone. How many did she have? Did she focus on those? No, she focused on the one she could not have. That is how she was deceived.

In a lot of families the child who causes the most problems gets all the attention, all the gifts, everything good. The good kids get ignored. Most responsibility is put on them. Most shortcomings are blamed on them. The equality of parental treatment goes out the door. When watching this situation once I asked the parent about it and they said that the "good kid" did not need anything the other one did. The good kid could handle anything the other one could not. I was speechless. Have we regressed to a society that rewards bad behavior? Think Sodom and Gomorrah.

One method the enemy uses is to get you to complain about what you don't have so you will lose sight of what God has given you. God tells you to do the opposite:

Philippians 4:6-8 (NIV)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
We need to start praising him and thanking Him for all He has provided. He wants us to begin by giving thanks for all he has done and His goodness—not only in our own lives but in the world around us.

He also warns of consequences:

Malachi 3: 13-18
“You have spoken arrogantly against me,” says the Lord.
“Yet you ask, ‘What have we said against you?’
 “You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty? But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly evildoers prosper, and even when they put God to the test, they get away with it.’”
Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.
“On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.

I bought a huge sign one time that said "No whining". I think it is time to implement that in the church so we can get to the position we can be used by Christ instead of avoided by the world and Christians alike. We should be a sign of hope to the world. We should be the light of Christ in a dark world.  

What does this have to do with intercession?

The body of Christ needs to go back to a heart of praise and gratitude. We need to appreciate what the Lord has done and is doing. Time to change our thinking. 

Time to pray.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

How Full is Your Glass?

I was sitting in church one morning praying for people. It was a time of worship and meditation. People were praying and just worshipping in His presence. As I prayed for one lady the Lord began to speak some specific things about her. I could hear so many negative things running through her mind. Shortcomings presented. Sins reviewed. Painful failures. Imagined preconceptions.

My heart hurt for her as I prayed the truth of what Christ has done for her over her and her hurting heart. She is a solid and mature Christian but that doesn’t negate attacks. So many Christians fight the attacks of the enemy without recognizing him.

Did she have shortcomings? Yes! But that is not what counts:

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Did she have sin? Yes! But that is not what counts:

Psalm 103:11-12 (NIV)

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,

    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

1 John 1:9 (NIV)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Did she have painful failures? (Don’t we all?) Yes! But that is not what counts:

2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Does she have imagined preconceptions? Yes! But that is not what counts:

2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV)
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

As I prayed and did battle over all the things I was seeing and hearing over her the Lord gave me a vision and spoke to me:

I Corinthians 12:8
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

I saw a glass of water. It was about half full. She was looking at the empty area and seeing lack. The thing is she looks at others and sees how full they are. Isn’t that just like the enemy? He attacks us. Our thoughts. Our self-image. We are created in the image of God and he has been trying to diminish that image since the fall. When he came to Eve he did not attack the cows, the birds, the plants. He came against the word of God and God’s mirror image of Himself.

I was praising the Lord for the water in this person’s glass. Her very obvious anointing. How special she is to the Lord. She was looking at the air in the glass and seeing lack.

The Lord told me to look around. I could feel the hurting hearts. It was overwhelming and painful. I could feel people looking at their failures and shortcomings—all those things that make us “not enough”. That slimy feeling of never measuring up and the spiritual sadness it causes. That feeling that makes you feel that no matter what you do it is unimportant. 

For example: how about the person who cleans the bathroom? The enemy can make that person feel like that job is unimportant. The pastor never stands up at the front of the church and says, “Thank you for scrubbing the toilet.” Well, never is a pretty strong term because our pastor has….but you get the point. IF no one cleaned the bathroom or put out toilet paper it would be a pretty miserable experience. It IS important.Everything you do unto the Lord is important.

vacuum tube
I saw the image of a glass overlying every person in the church. Some barely had any water. Some were really full. Some were in the middle. I heard Him tell me to notice that all the glasses were full because none of us exist in a vacuum. The glass may have visible water that we see but it also contains air which we do not see. We need both to exist. Jesus is called the word. He is that living water in our lives. When we are weary, He is the refreshing. When we are in a desert, He is the life force that sustains us. He is the water that washes us clean. That life-giving water of refreshing and renewal that we give away with every word, action and prayer. The Holy Spirit is that breath of air that brings power and the ability to breathe in tough times. Ever climb a mountain? They are that perfect combination of anointed fullness.

What do you see when you look at yourself? You are complete in Him. You do not have a void. You might not see it but it is all there.

2 Peter 1:3 (HCSB)
His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.

What does this have to do with intercession?

Do you listen to the hearts around you when you are walking through life? Do you point people to the fullness they have within themselves? It is time to pray for the eyes of the body to see how Christ sees. 

He is coming for a bride that is without spot or wrinkle--they won't be myopic either. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Need a Shovel for that Bitterness?

In the late 70's I met a lady who was in a wheel chair. I think she had been in an accident. She was believing for healing. I have the personality of a prophet--black and white. This, like most prophets in the Bible, used to cause me to get down on myself and life in general. Yet, here was this lady in a wheel chair who needed help for everything and she had such joy. She laughed at life. She was a delight to be around and she changed my outlook on life.

I began to intercede for her....regularly.

Fast forward 35 years to the year 2011. I was at the Farmer's Market one Sat. morning praying for the business and the people and she came on my heart so I was praying for her and there she went in her wheel chair! I took off after her. When I caught up with her I could see that physically she had declined over the years. I introduced myself. I could see her eyes and the lines in her face that she had grown bitter. The joy was not bubbling any more. I told her I had been praying for her all this time and thanked her for her bubbly joy that had changed my life. It gave me a new outlook.
She just stared at me and said, "OK" then turned her wheelchair and went the other way. 

I was somewhat deflated.

I started to walk away but I watched her praying. She stopped her chair and turned. She was weeping. God was plowing through those bitter roots and going to heal her heart. She waved as best she could.

I cried. 

It is amazing to me how much God loves us. He doesn't give up on us. Our attitude doesn't affect his love for us and it should not affect our intercession for others. I still pray for her. 

What does this have to do with intercession?

Bitterness is a deep hole. The reasons someone gets there is unimportant. Help lift them out.

Picking Shoes for the Terrain????

 When you decide to go for a walk do you find out where you are going so that you know what shoes to wear? Sounds crazy huh?

BUT if you are going to walk on a nice grassy slope with some rocks here and there a comfortable pair of tennis shoes will do.

 OR if you are going to be hiking a rocky cliff you need socks and sturdy shoes that fit well and that do not rub anywhere.

What if you are going to cross creeks etc. Do you need to toss a pair of flip flops in the back pack so you do not get your shoes wet? Are you just going to walk on the beach? Flip flops and barefoot will probably do. Get my drift? You need to know the terrain.

 Do you know the terrain of your life in the spirit? If you do not know the terrain how do you fight? Do you just curl up in the corner and hope it goes away? Do you call all your friends and glorify what the enemy is doing? OR do you look into the spirit and know your terrain and gear up? When you sense (combat intelligence) the attack coming do you repent where you need to, praise the Lord for being able to see what is coming, adjust your armor and then get your shoes on and go after your victory?

General Matthew Ridgeway writes "There are two kinds of information that no commander can do without--information pertaining to the enemy which we call 'combat intelligence' and information on the terrain. Both are vital."

It is critical to discern WHERE the enemy will attack. Accurate, pertinent, and timely intelligence on the enemy is necessary for making an adequate defense. It is basic but so important to have a sure knowledge of the strength (or in reality weakness since we have all power over him) of the enemy. What is his plan? (Is he stealing your children?) What is his timing? (Do you sense a tough day for them in school today?) What is his next move? (Has luke-warmness caused you to lay down your attentiveness in the spirit?)  What weapons will he probably use? (You are no good, you were a bad mom, you yelled, etc) Take the time to find those answers and fortify then thwart his battle plan.

Once you have your combat intelligence and terrain information you are almost done! Now you fight and BOOM!!!! You win!!!! Victory is assured!

 So many times when the church is under attack they turn and hide in the corner hoping it will all go away. They end up beat up.

Other times they turn traitor and partner with the enemy who is trying to destroy them…..that is his job. Your job is to defeat him.

What does this have to do with intercession? 

Intercession is not a burden. It is not a problem. It is a gift and a calling! Open that package and get to work! I love defeating the enemy!

Pastor Sally McCarley - So You Can Talk The Talk. Do You Walk The Walk?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Are You Dogging His Steps?

We have had almost 3 weeks of intermittent storms—three weeks! But today the sun is out! The sky is clear. The wind is blowing. The ocean is still angry but colorful again and beautiful.

Bernie doesn’t handle the storms well. If the rain gets too loud he “dogs my steps”. I just love my dog so I do not really care.

If the wind gets too loud he “dogs my steps”. I just love my dog so I do not really care.

If it thunders he “dogs my steps” or gets in my lap while he shakes and shivers and whimpers.  Ditto on the caring.

The problem is our kitchen floor is white. So is Bernie. This can prove dangerous to a frightened animal who is “dogging my steps”.

Another problem is that our bedroom floor is white. This can prove dangerous to a frightened animal who is “dogging my steps”.

Add this to the fact that we do not use a lot of lights at night. We want to be able to see the stars out our windows, and the reflection of the moon on the clouds and the ocean AND that our living room floor is pale grey and white. Well you get the picture: 2 full sized adults, darkness, almost white floor, a white, 6 pound dog…..a lot of BERNIE!!! Yelping!!! Jumping!!!

It still doesn’t bother me. I love my dog.

It got me to thinking though. I was sitting here praying for people who were experiencing the storms of life: cancer, extreme pain, financial devastation, death of a loved one, children either in prison or in jail, spouses not serving God, children estranged from God and family, alcoholism, gambling, divorce, drug addiction…the storms of life.

What happens to most people in their storms is one of 4 things:
  1. They resort back to old behavior.
  2. They get angry at God.
  3. They let their mouth run with gossip, criticism or blame.
  4. They press into the Lord, the Word and His comforting presence.

The Lord told us to come as children. In that innocence. In that acceptance. (A lot like Bernie) He also told us to be wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove. You cannot run your mouth and be harmless. Jesus slept in a boat in a storm. He walked on water in a storm. How about you? Are you an imitator of the Lord or of the world?

Do you have a storm in your live? Are you dogging His steps?
  • Unlike me He will not trip over you.
  • Unlike me He will not step on you.
  • Unlike me He will not yell when you startle Him.
  • Unlike me He will not get irritated.

He will protect you. He will keep you from perishing in the storm. He will love on you and let you know that it will all be ok.

Are you dogging his steps? Are you keeping yourself where you need to be?

What does this have to do with intercession?

Everywhere I look the storms of life are raging over people’s lives. People are struggling. They are hiding. They are giving up. When you see someone being overwhelmed in a storm it is time to pray over them. Not talk about them. Not tell them they need to learn something. Not kick them while they are down. Pray.

Basic intercessor training: the intercessors are the eyes of the body. They go through things way before the rest of the body of Christ. By the time the attack/storm gets to the body it should have been prayed away or diminished. It is time for the intercessors to get back into the watch towers and on the wall and pray for those who are in the storms of life.

Intercessors, if you need prayer message me and we will get people to pray for you and get you back on your feet. At one time I could call into the spirit and intercessors would hear. Now there is a dullness of hearing.

That is just 2 senses under attack! 

Pastor Sally McCarley "Standing In The Peace Of God"