Tag Archives: listen

Just Lean in and Go

Image may contain: drawingLast night I sang at a sparsely attended revival at Eagle Ranch, on the West Fork of Calhoun County. Don’t be too sad about the attendance level, because God set it up that way. I believe that with all my heart. As Preacher Sebby Volpe said, God may have even kept some away. I believe that too. So you may ask, “Why would God keep people away from a revival?” Perhaps they couldn’t handle the truth Sebby delivered, or they may not have been ready, or just maybe, like in the days of Gideon, God just needed a few. I don’t know, or need to know His reasoning. I only know that I was supposed to be there, and not because I was ask to sing.

Every day is an uphill spiritual battle for me. And lately the hills have been getting steeper and steeper and I question God’s plan more and more. Even this morning as I lay in bed with a desire in my heart to get up and begin writing, I couldn’t get one foot in front of the other to climb out from beneath the covers, not to mention make my way to the computer. And so I laid there in the darkness with the same empty feeling I had before the revival last night. When I finally got out of bed at 7ish I avoided the word of God like a skunk sprayed hound. My friend Gloria will catch that reference from last night’s revival. I even ask myself “why?” God had poured His goodness down on me last night so much so, that when I left that revival I felt like every joint in my body had been lubricated with anointing oil. It was amazing. But this morning the anointing oil had leaked out and it was just Shari in the flesh. Frustrated and down hearted again.

But after a few cups of coffee I finally made my way to the word of God and I ask Him this question:

“What does it mean to be sold out for You?”

His answer didn’t surprise me. Because I had heard it last night in the message from Sebby.

“Don’t be ignorant.”

Now Sebby didn’t say those words. Although I know him, and he would have if God had laid it on his heart to do so. Sebby’s message was more along the lines of the latter part of the verse those words came from.

Romans 1:13-17

13 Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.

THE MISSION NEVER CHANGES

What I’ve discovered is, the Mission never changes, but the direction of the mission can turn on a dime if God so chooses. Paul is telling his friends in Rome that he’d have been there with them, if God hadn’t changed the direction. Paul’s mission was to win souls for the Kingdom of God. And that’s our mission as well. But Paul was tuned into God so closely that when God changed the direction, he didn’t question it, he simply leaned the other way.

THE MASTER NEVER CHANGES

14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.

Indebted to the God of all. And If I (or you) serve the Master, we too are indebted to the Lord to serve both the wise and the unwise, the rich and the poor and all those in between. Those I love and those I have to work to love. The mission doesn’t change. Just lean into it and go. However…

THE METHOD MAY CHANGE

15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

From the faithfulness of God, to the faithfulness of man it is God who reveals the methods of delivery, we just need to be ready to lean in the direction God points us in.

When Paul started on his journey with Christ, I highly doubt any of it was comfortable for him. He’d not delivered the message of God in that manner ever before. But God changed his direction 180 degrees and Paul rode it out until the end. And we’re still talking about that ride today. What we view as old school was all new back then. And while God doesn’t change the mission or the message, His methods have certainly changed over time. And almost always with resistance. Change is easier for some than others. For me it’s always came easy. I embrace it! But it still doesn’t stop the fear…

Paul could lean in and go without hesitation because his focus wasn’t on the direction he was going but rather focused on the Lord Who was pointing him in the direction he was to go.

So what did i determine being sold out mean?

Just Lean into it and go…

Every Day is a Good Day to Listen

a-good-day

Habakkuk 2:1

I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and I shall answer when I am reproved.

As a child of God we all want to hear from Him, or we should. I talk to God, a lot! I seriously do, if only I listened. My conversations with God are far too often one directional. I tell Him what I need and then wait for Him to deliver. That’s what faith is, right? That’s only half of what faith is. Habakkuk said he who go upon the tower, literal or figurative I do not know, but he was going to a place that he could meet with God and he would watch and wait to see what God said. But what truly caught my eye on this scripture this morning was “an

d I shall answer when I am reproved.”

One commentary said that it was possibly because Habakkuk was too bold with God and that God was under no obligation to give an account as to why the children of Israel were in such dire straits. After all, it was they who turned their back on God. Isn’t that the truth, or at least it is with me. Why am I here God? Please fix this God. God are you listening? And I’m pretty sure I would have heard His answer if I had stopped talking.

Before God was going to give an answer to Habakkuk’s dilemma, he needed him to listen to what God had to say. This morning as I read those words, “things” popped into my mind. “Things” I hadn’t taken care of, things I could have done better with, things that were stumbling blocks to getting to the place God wants me to be.

When the Lord answered in verses 2-4 he said “Write the vision, and make it plain upon the tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by faith. ”

The vision that God was about to give Habakkuk, God wanted him to write it big enough so that even if someone was going really fast, they could read what the word said. In my 2017 *pursuit of God, I need to remember that though I am pursuing, He’s not running. He’s as steadfast as He ever was or ever will be. He is waiting for me to catch up to where He’s leading me. I need to listen in this journey and wait in faith for God’s response…

That’s a good word for me today. Listen. What about you? Have you stopped to listen to what God’s plan is for you today, or where you may need some improvement before the plan can continue? Join with me in the *pursuit of God’s design!

*My personal 2017 word of the year

But Now… are you willing?

chick content

Judges 6:13

And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? but now the Lord hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.

Far be it from me to be disobedient to God and then wonder why I feel forsaken. (…yeah right) And I have on more than one occasion claimed the latter part of Hebrews 13:5: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,” ignoring the prefix of that statement where it says  “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have” and then it says “I will never thee, nor forsake thee.” I for certain want God not to forsake me, but I don’t want to have to do without stuff! That was a side bar on the Gideon story, but the truth of the matter is, God had allowed Israel to get into bondage again with the Midianites because they had traded Him for the gods of the world. Tell me that doesn’t ring familiarity to the church today and in our individual lives.

We want God in a crisis, “but now” that’s it’s over we’ll see what we can do about penciling Him in. We don’t have to ask ourselves why the circumstances of America are playing out as they are; it’s because the nation as a whole has turned their back on God. Gideon hadn’t turned his back on God, because God called him a “mighty man of valour.” So why then was Gideon the mighty man of valour hiding in the wine press to thresh wheat? The logical answer for me is, because he was human. Even those of us who desire to stand up and fight against the wickedness of the world find ourselves cowering down somewhere because the enemy seems too much and we seem so insignificant by comparison.

Through God’s counsel Gideon and Israel had victory but there were a few steps in between.

He questioned God’s judgment on using him.

Vs 15 – behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.

To country quote it, “I ain’t got any money, and I don’t have the strength to fight that battle Lord.” God doesn’t’ need our money or our muscle! He wants a man willing to use what He’s equipped with. That’s why in Hebrew 13:5 Jesus tells us to be content with what we have, because that’s what God needs. What we have.

Gideon didn’t have much, but what he had he was willing to give to the Lord. In verse 18-19 of Judges 6 Gideon said. “Depart not hence, I pray thee, until I come unto thee, and bring forth my present, and set it before thee. And he said, I will tarry until thou come again. And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour: the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out unto him under the oak, and presented it.”

 In reading chapter 6 we discover that he sacrificed what he had, sought God’s counsel, and followed His instruction. The very same thing that we too have to offer God.

  • What we’ve been given… a little, or a lot doesn’t matter.
  • Time in His presence (costs nothing)
  • And obedience to His instruction (and He’ll equip us with the rest)

But now… America is here. But with a few Mighty folks of Valour, willing to be content with what we have, and listen to God, we could be a far better nation. Are you willing?