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The Birth of “Yes!”

I wonder if I’m the only speaker who ever said something, then later said to himself, “That was right, but …”

Recently I was preaching. I shared something I had heard.

“When we’re dealing with God we say, “Lord, the answer is yes,’ what’s the question?’”

Warming to the subject I noted, “We should hand God a blank check with our signature at the bottom, then say, ‘God, fill it in for whatever amount you want to.’”

The attitude is right. “Lord, anytime, anywhere, any place.” That is what we should say to what God asks.

The truth of the matter is, though, it sometimes takes us a while to get there. I want to be totally obedient to the Lord, but sometimes when God speaks to me, there are all sorts of things that start squirming inside of me saying, “No!”

And that’s the crux of the thing. The process of getting from, “I don’t want to!” to “Lord, not my will but your be done,” is critical. It’s during that time that we grow.

If we just hand God a blank check with our name and tell Him to fill in the amount, there’s no growth for us there. We need those agonizing moments in the “Garden of Gethsemane” to help us grow.

I don’t think the Lord want docile robots, who obey without thinking. We’re men and women who love God, but are full of all sorts of dreams, weaknesses, aspirations, faults, strengths.

Maybe, instead of saying, “The answer is ‘yes,’ what is the question?” we should say, “Lord, tell me what you want and help me to get to the point where I can say ‘yes.’”

You see, growth comes in getting to the point of saying, “yes.” Continue reading

Do You Know Why You Are Living?

Is your life worth anything?

Andy Stanley tells the story of his niece, Elena I think her name was. When she was five her mother looked for an activity that her daughter could channel her energy into.

The girl had a long body that seemed to be made for swimming. So her mother enrolled her in a swim club. For four years they went to swim meets.

The little one loved meeting other kids and she seemed to like to swim. But when it came time to race, she always finished last.

Finally at the beginning of a new year with the club, mama was driving Elena to a competition.

“Elena, you should try to win the race today,” she urged her daughter.

“Race?” her nine-year old daughter asked, surprised. “You mean it’s a race! I thought we went to ‘meet’ people.”

All these years the girl had gone to swim “meetings” with the idea that the goal was to “meet” people. That day she realized that it was a competition. Her outlook changed and she won the race. And she won at the next meeting and the next.

As a matter of fact, she was the only one in her swim club who progressed to the next level.

Her world changed when her way of seeing changed. Continue reading

A Key To Revival: Touching God’s Face

I almost saw the dictator, Colonel Gadhafi, and the actress, Sharon Stone, the same night.

But I didn’t.

Gadhafi was on an official visit to Paris and I was walking up the famous street, the Champs d’Elysée, with some friends from eastern France, gawking at the Christmas lights.

Suddenly we saw a motorcade pull onto the street from the direction of the Palace of Elysée, the official residence of the French president. “I’ll bet that’s Gadhafi,” we said, but all we saw was dark cars.

A little later I noticed a crowd gathering in front of a hotel on the famous boulevard. “Who is coming?” I asked of someone in the crowd, as everyone shivered in the cold.

“Sharon Stone (the actress),” he replied.

“I’d rather see Sharon Stone than Gadhafi,” I thought. So we waited and shivered and froze. Finally I decided I would rather live, than die frozen like a popsicle waiting for Sharon. I guess she didn’t know I was there and she was taking her time.

But, hang on, another day I did see Hillary Clinton, wife of then President of the USA, Bill. Madame Chirac, the wife of the French president, Jacques, was with her.

As they got out of their car to go into a restaurant, Hillary waved and smiled just as if she were running for president. (I suppose she was practicing).

Serious-looking secret servicemen scanned the crowd, just like on television. I was amazed that I was close enough to see her well.

“David, what are you rambling on about?”

That’s a good question. Give me long enough and I’ll figure out what I want to say. Continue reading

You Love God, But Do You Trust Him?

Some people are famous cooks. Others are illustrious cooks. I’m an infamous cook.

Once when my wife was gone I invented a dish. I found some cream of mushroom soup in the cupboard and mozerella cheese in the frig. Since I like both of these I mixed them them in the heating pan.

When I lift the stirring spoon from the potion I had created it was kind of gross. The cheese stretched from the spoon down to the soup and reminded me a bit of someone with a bad cold (sorry ladies).

My wife loves me, but if someone famous comes to eat at our house, she doesn’t trust me to prepare the meal.

God asks that we love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. If He asks us to love Him like that we can be sure that He loves us in return with all His heart, soul, mind and strength.

But what does it mean to love God like that?

There is a vital element of the love that God wants from us, that maybe isn’t always present in love. You see, I can love my three-year old child but I’m not going to count on Him for a lot of things. He loves me back but his love is more emotional than practical.

My wife can love me but she’s not going to trust me to cook the casserole.

The love God desires from us includes an element of powerful trust in Him and who He is. Continue reading

What’s the Password?

These days I’ve got more passwords than brains.

Everything demands a password and most warn direly, “Choose something that’s not easy to guess. And don’t use the same password for everyone of your online  sites.”

I understand. But …

What do you do when you struggle to remember one of them? Twenty different passwords? Did anyone say “scrambled eggs inside my head?”

Jesus tells us in this passage that it’s not just those who know the password, “Lord, Lord” who get in. It takes more than that.

It’s not just the one who noisily casts out demons or prophesies. Some of those are going to be left out in the cold (or the hot).

No, the ones who please God and enter the Kingdom are those who build on the rock by obeying the words that Jesus gives us here. Jesus says there are going to be “many” who try to strut in on their spiritual gifts and they’re going to receive the message, “username or password unknown.”

They’ll fume in frustration as those who build a solid foundation of obeying Jesus’ words in their everyday life enter into the good things that God has prepared for those who love Him.

Miracles, prophesy and casting out demons are all good. But, that’s not the foundation. Doing the things Jesus teaches here is the foundation.

During the course of a life rain will fall, floods will rise, storms will crash down upon us. When we build our house on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ and his teaching, we will withstand the onslaughts.

When our house is built only on feelings or experience and the storm attacks, there is a crash a ‘comin.’

People were touched and moved by Jesus’ teaching and preaching. He didn’t teach like the mealy-mouthed teachers of the Law. Authority accompanied His words.