Archive for the ‘confession’ Category

“God doesn’t answer my prayers”

November 26, 2011

Or, “I’ve tried God, it didn’t work for me”.

In ministry, I have heard many people make these kind of remarks. Basically, whenever they were in need, or had a crisis in their life, they cried out to God for his help. When they became desperate they needed or wanted God. This is common when we as human’s need something, or someone.

It is certainly not wrong to cry out to God in times of need. This is how most people come to have a relationship with Him. Most come when their backs are against the wall, so to speak. He does allow difficulties, and He also does cause them in some cases. Of course, when you mention “cause” that is very touchy ground. If I were to say that He caused some kind of tragedy, or unfortunate circumstance, most, if not all would run away from God, not towards Him. We of course, can’t know for sure whither He allowed it or cause it. In any case however, God is over all, and he is in control of all. Nothing happens in one’s life without Him not knowing, and not knowing why and how.

Everybody would jump on board if God was a “Santa Clause” God. If all he did was treat us like spoiled children and give, give and give without no obedience, no acting right, what kind of people would we be? I guarantee we would be as a people, way worse off than we are now. If there were no restraints with God? What happens with children when they are spoiled and given everything they want? What happens when they become adults? The answer is easily available, take a look around.

So, it’s hard to confront the reason why “God doesn’t answer our prayers”. Why? Because you have to deal with the most honest, difficult and hard realization there is. What is that? SIN. Nobody wants to talk about it. Nobody wants to bring it up. It’s offensive. It gets more personal than anything else you have to deal with in life. It’s the “hardest of hard”.

Now, there are two classes of people. Those who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, and have trusted him for the forgiveness of their sins, and have allowed Him to be Lord of their lives. Then, there are those who have not yet believed and received.

In this post, I am not going to take the time to address “God not answering my prayers” to those who have yet to receive Christ. If you are one of these, this of course must be your first step. He is a God who does answer our prayers. But, the prayer He is waiting to hear from you, is that of crying out to Him in repentance (wanting to turn and give up sin) and asking for forgiveness for the offences that you have done against Him. It’s hard, but it must be done.

For those who have received Christ at one time, but are not currently living for Him and allowing Him to be above all in their lives, this is for you.

The Prophet Isaiah very clearly and pointedly puts forward the key for God answering our prayers. We would all agree, that one would have to first be able to “hear” our prayer before one could answer, right? So, the question would go out, why doesn’t God hear my prayer?

In the passage of Isaiah 59:1-3, it very clearly speaks of being separated from God. While the passage can also be used to teach us that sin separates us from God, when we are outside of a relationship with God, it also speaks to those who may have at one time had that relationship and walked with him. However, because of sin, they have become strayed from Him, and the wall of separation is being built, brick (sin) by brick. Where they might have had a one time relationship with Him, there is now no “hearing” from God for their prayers.

One must ask, “why is this the case!”. “Why doesn’t God answer my prayers!” These questions could very well be the best ones to ask. They could lead to finding the answer as to why doesn’t He hear me.

Isaiah speaks:

“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities (perversity) have separated you from your God; and your SINS have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue has muttered perversity.”

It’s a hard passage, but true. It gives the answer as to why God will not “hear”. Again, he has to hear first to be able to answer.

So, if you want your prayers to be answered (and of course, answered according to the one who knows best what our needs are) or more importantly, heard, so He can began to move, repair, make new etc. his will for you, turn in prayer towards Him. Cry out to Him for help. Really desire to turn from sin. Realize that you are bound up in it, and that you cannot turn from it on your own. You want deliverance!

For He has said, “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the sinner forsake his way, and the unrighteous person his thoughts; let them return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on them; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isa.55:6-7)

There you have it. Come to the God of Mercy and Pardon. He is waiting to Forgive.

Light meets Dark

October 29, 2011

So you thought you had to keep this up
All the work that you do
So we
think that you’re good
And you can’t believe it’s not enough
All the walls
you built up
Are just glass on the outside

So let ’em fall
down
There’s freedom waiting in the sound
When you let your walls fall to
the ground
We’re here now

This is where the healing begins, oh
This
is where the healing starts
When you come to where you’re broken within
The light meets the
dark
The light meets the dark

Afraid to let your secrets
out
Everything that you hide
Can come crashing through the door now
But
too scared to face all your fear
So you hide but you find
That the shame
won’t disappear

So let it fall down
There’s freedom waiting in the sound
When you
let your walls fall to the ground
We’re here now
We’re here now,
oh

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing
starts
When you come to where you’re broken within
The light meets the
dark
The light meets the dark

Sparks will fly as grace
collides
With the dark inside of us
So please don’t fight
This coming
light
Let this blood come cover us
His blood can cover us

This is
where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you
come to where you’re broken within
The light meets the dark
The light
meets the dark

FROM THE SONG “HEALING BEGINS” BY “TENTH AVENUE NORTH”

http://youtu.be/QF1X9VvQbD4

“How ya doin?” doesn’t cut it anymore.

November 9, 2007

Did it ever really?
A couple of mornings ago, I set out on my usual walk and the Lord led me to two different people along the way. I had an awesome time sharing with both of them. However, the third person that I came across, I said to him, “How ya doin?” He replied and said, “Fine, how ya doin”, and that was it. There again was the standard American greeting.
As I continued walking along, the Lord spoke to me and said, “How ya doin doesn’t cut it anymore”. I chuckled for a bit. He said, “no, seriously”. It is way past time that we get out of our comfort zones, our little boxes if you will, and share Jesus with them.

It’s not that we can’t and don’t use this standard introduction or greeting when we meet people in passing, but I believe this was a wake up call to realize what is taking place when this can become a general habit form of communication. Do we rush through life, never really taking the time to notice people and speak to them outside of the standard greeting?

I am realizing more and more, how God is wanting us to move out of our standard routines. Does the Holy Spirit always work in the routine? In the standard?

I spent years in my younger days rushing through life with my peddle on the metal all the time. I would say all the time, “How ya doing”. They would reply back, “Fine” or a lot of the time the reply would be a straight, “How ya doing”, and that would be it (period). It’s time we take inventory of our routines we have with people. Are we stuck in the usual?

We who are believers need to step out and take a few extra moments and say something like, “Hey you got a moment, do you know Christ?” or “Pardon me, but is Jesus Christ your Lord and Saviour?”. Or, “What have you done with Jesus in your lifetime?”. The very least that could happen to you would be that they would just ignore you, or say some unkind words. Can we stick up for Him now? What will happen if and when the gun comes?

Come on now! It’s time to tell somebody! Step out of your comfort zone and experience a blessing from God. At least once a day tell somebody. You will find that huge doors can open up by you taking the first step. Who knows, before long you just might be telling everybody you meet. How awesome would that be?

Just do it! You will be blessed. You have everything you need, just use what He has given you.
Amen.

To God be the glory, for great things He is doing!(Part#3)

November 4, 2007

In the last post, I had forgotten to mention that on my way to the city in the train, I needed to stop off and use the bathroom at a local store. After that, the Lord wanted me to go to a bus stop close by that I had been to several times before.

After praying, I jumped in and started to preach The Good News on one corner. One young kid didn’t like it, so he sounded off. (I spoke with this kid later, he is one step closer to Christ now) Then a young black guy came over to talk. He listened real well as The Holy Spirit moved upon his heart. It took probably close to an hour before he made the move to receive Jesus. But he did! Praise God! He went off changed by the power of God!

I called him that night on the way home. He said that he was at home resting. Now this was Friday night close to 8:00pm. He was saved from drugs and may have been either in a gang, or had came out of one. But glory to God he is changed! He said to me as we parted on the phone, “pray for me, I just want to live”. That tells it all.

Back to where I left off in “Part#2”.
It was 4:00pm at the train stop and it’s Friday night and there are people in need of hearing The Gospel everywhere as they wait for the train to go home from work. I started in and before long James showed up. We took turns preaching and God’s Spirit was moving as several came up to either take a tract or talk.

Then the distractions came once again. This young guy who had a plastic cup full of wine, starts to scream and yell and gets in our faces. James calms him down as I finish. I went over to him and tried to talk with him. He seemed surprised that I would have come over to talk with him after all his yelling and carrying on.

As we talked, God through His Spirit began to speak to him, a little at a time. He said he had to go use the bathroom, and asked if I would be there when he came back. I assured him I would. I miss out from time to time, but I knew there was hope for this guy. He came back with more wine and seemed to be even more intoxicated. What I really liked about this encounter was that the fact that he was still drinking, but God was still coming after him. I could see transformation taking place.

Now James comes up to talk to him, and gets real straight with him. The guy blows a gasket big time, screams and yells. The crowd turns and begins to listen in as to try and figure out what is going on. The guy storms off. I thought we had lost him then. James begins to preach again.

Minutes later he returns in a huff. I with the help of God, calm him down, and once again we(the Spirit and I) start to share Christ with him. He shares a lot of his problems and fears. Now, it was pretty obvious that this guy was a outcast by others, by the things he shared with me. But God was loving on him big time. I could see His love being poured out on our soon to be brother.

He takes off to smoke a cigarette across the street. I shared with James what was taking place. When he returned glass in hand, James apologizes for some of the things that he had said earlier. They hugged and forgave each other. It was powerful to behold.

James starts in again, sharing God’s love and power to change lives to the crowd. The guy who I will call Dan, comes over to me again. This time I am noticing that he is listening more and getting closer to The Kingdom as we spoke. All of a sudden, HE TAKES THE CUP OF WINE AND THROWS IT 30 FEET DOWN THE BRICK WALKWAY. Wow! I was taken back! HE THEN BEGINS TO SING THE SONG, “CREATE A PURE HEART IN ME, O GOD, AND RENEW A STEADFAST SPIRIT WITHIN ME” He sings every word of the song. I noticed that he was sobering up as he was singing. God was moving!

He finishes the song and immediately DROPS TO HIS KNEES AND STARTS TO REPENT BEFORE GOD AND CONFESS. It was really powerful to hear him repent before God and ask Jesus for forgiveness and to be his Saviour and then his Lord. I knelt down with him and prayed for complete deliverance through God’s Son, Jesus Christ. (now remember, this is all taking place in a public square with lots of people standing around watching and listening) Praise God!
We finally stood up together and gave praise to God! He is Born of The SPIRIT OF GOD!

I will continue with “part#4. Wait and see what happens next. It’s a real testimony, glory to God!

To God be the glory, for great things He is doing!

November 3, 2007

I woke up early this morning giving God praise and glory for what He did yesterday. God is showing forth His power on the streets, big time. He is changing lives. Restoration is taking place right before our eyes. To God be the glory! I pray that you will be inspired to get out and use what gifts and callings that God has blessed you with. You are unique and because of that, you can reach people that I can’t, and vice verse. Isn’t that so like God? He is unique and He made you unique to reach unique people.

It was one of those days where I did not receive orders from Him as to where to start exactly. I was impressed to just set out and see what happens. This is something that I did on a regular basis for about a year, and it was “oh so awesome”. Going out, but not knowing where. I pray that if God has yet to impress you by His Spirit to do this, that He would and that He would do it soon. Amen.

The first human encounter was a young guy at the traffic light on my way walking to the bank. I shared with him and he really listened. I believe it was another seed planting. He took a tract, and I pray that He will come when God again draws his heart to come to Him.

After the bank, (praise God there was money in the bank!) I went to the bus stop and talked (tried to) with a Hispanic man. I don’t know Spanish (but I should) so lately God has had me use a key from my pocket and tell them that the key to God is Jesus Christ. He smiled and nodded his head. I pointed to the heart also.

When I got on the bus, I immediately saw a young kid that I have talked to before. He is very quite. I sensed that there was pain and sorrow in his life, so I asked him, “has there been some painful things happen in your life?” He said yes. I said, “Have you lost a mother, or father? “A family member?” He said no, but that he did not want to talk about it. God knows and I can pray for him.

Soon I got to the first city and the local transit mall. The Lord had me do the usual prayer walk around the block. Then had me stand and start to pass out tracts and do some preaching. A young guy and his girl friend came up and wanted prayer. I first asked them if Jesus Christ was their Lord and Saviour. They said no. So I went through The Gospel with them and praise God they turned from the old life to the new! We prayed and they received Him as Lord and Saviour! The Angels where singing again! Hallelujah!

Well, of course about that time a messenger of Satan shows up (standard procedure) and we rebuked him in Jesus name and pleaded the blood of Jesus Christ. He flees, praise God!

Another brother which I just met a couple of weeks ago, stops by and we have an awesome time talking about God and His goodness. We share out loud what He has done. This is real powerful in a public setting. Whether on a corner, or in a building elevator, or on a bus or train, give God the glory out loud. You will be amazed at what takes place.

I moved across the street and there stood a young black man who was blind. My heart went out to him. I stood there praying for him quietly. Then God’s Spirit moved and I began to talk with him. I asked him if Jesus was his Lord and Saviour. He smiled and said “oh yes”. I asked him how long he had been blind, he said “since I was a year and a half old.” My heart swelled with compassion for the man.

I stood there and The Lord reminded me of my morning walk to the bank earlier. As I was walking along, God began to show me my five senses. I went through all of them one by one. I smelled, I saw, I heard etc. I ran my fingers along the concrete divider. I began to weep and appreciation came over me. Why me? as I thought of others that don’t have some of these senses. I certainly didn’t deserve it. God in His love and mercy has given them to me for His glory. May they be used for Him.

So as I stood there with this blind man, tears of compassion began to flow as I prayed to The Father for him. I looked up and saw the blue sky. The trees with their leaves turning. I pleated with God that he might see again. I asked him if I could pray with him for complete healing of his eyes. He said, “sure”.( before this I was a little reserved, because I have learned that you need to be very careful and sensitive with people who have disabilities). But I really sensed that God’s Spirit was working and He wanted to heal him.

Just as we started to pray, I looked up and there was a girl standing next to us that I have met out on the streets before. I had to refresh my memory and ask her if she was a believer or not. She said she was. I explained to her what was taking place and asked her if she believed that God could restore this man sight. She said, “yes” so we prayed together.

When we finished praying, I asked the man if he could see. He said. “not yet, but I believe I will”. Praise God he will! I believe!

He gave me his telephone number and I expect when I call him, that he will tell me he now sees. Praise to God! He is healing our brother! He will see this side of eternity! He will look up and see the blue sky, the trees! Oh praise God with me! For He is great and greatly to be praised!
“To God be the glory, for great things He is doing!”

I will stop here because I personally don’t like long posts. So if I don’t like them, I will not make them, right?
The above is only one quarter of what God did that day. With His help, I will try to write some more later.

I write these testimonies so that first God would be glorified in them, and second that you the reader would be encouraged to go out and use your gifts and callings for Him and His Kingdom. Amen

Ya gotta want to

October 21, 2007

Most people if they were honest would find it difficult to share the Gospel. If asked, “can you share the Gospel with a perfect stranger” they would be shocked at the thought.
Herein, is where I would like to encourage you.

Now what I am about to share with you is not the “spiritual” side of evangelism. There is much to say regarding that, but that is not what is upon my heart in this post. I want to encourage those who are quite frankly afraid to speak to people, much less say something about Christ.

If you are one of those, I trust that this post will encourage you to at least take the first step towards speaking out to somebody you don’t know.

May I suggest first, that after you have prayed about your fear, or inability to speak with others, that you make it of top concern to conquer your fear when you set out each day. I have found that you have to “want to” first, before anything will happen. It must be your priority.

Basically, you start first with little stuff such as “how are you today”, “oh I like your car” (boat, house, coat etc). I am always amazed at how God opens up a conversation, when and after we take the first step. If we are the “believer” and they are not, then who do you think should take the first step? And just to encourage you, you have the power of God in you. The Holy Spirit.

It’s OK to first get comfortable with just breaking out and talking to strangers about everyday stuff. If at first you don’t have the opportunity to share Christ, don’t get discouraged. You are conquering the first and big fear of just being able to talk to somebody you don’t know, and that’s big.

And just like anything in life, the more you do it, the easier it will become.

After you have somewhat mastered the ability to talk to strangers on a regular basis, then you will be able to go to the next step and share Christ with them.

Now, this is where I believe that a lot of the time after talking with them about “natural” things you need to just say something like, “by the way, do you have a relationship with God” or “I have really enjoyed talking to you and I have to ask you this question” (do it with a big smile). The Holy Spirit can personally give you the “ice breakers”(such as it is called) to use.

Now the more you do it, the more God will help you with what to say. Also, the more you will get used to outright rejection. But remember how they rejected Christ and sent him to the cross. No one truly enjoys rejection, but believe it or not you can get used to it. (believe me) And you can “count it all joy”.

And know this, I believe God smiles each time you reach out and speak with them about His Son. Plant that in the back of your head, if you need to.

And yes, practice makes perfect. It truly does! The more you share, the easier it will become. And never forget you have “the power” to testify of Him. “…and you shall be my witnesses”. The Holy Spirit makes it possible, but we must step out and be willing. He doesn’t twist our arm, and say you must, or else. He wants a willing son or daughter.

After a while, anticipation and excitement will enter in as you “go fishing” daily. You will find the blessing of being “fishers of men”.

And, “Ya gotta want to”

There are two kinds of servants

September 23, 2007

God’s word says that we are either one kind or the other.

Romans the sixth chapter, talks about being a servant of righteousness or a servant of sin.
The King James version uses the word “servant”. A word study reveals the meaning as, “a slave”, “being in subjection or subservience”, “bond (man)”, “to enslave”, “bring into (be under) bondage”, “given, become (make) servant.”

We do have a choice as to which “servant” we will yield ourselves to.
“Don’t you know, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey; whether you choose sin, to be a servant of sin, or to be obedient, to choose to be a servant of righteousness.” (6:16)

“But God be praised, you were the servant of sin,… (vs.17)
“You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness” (vs.18)

A daily yielding must take place. A daily choice.
“even now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness” (vs.19)
“you were slaves to sin” (vs.20) Did you get that, “you were”.
“But now you are free from sin (being made free) and are servants to God,”…. (vs.22)

We as believers need to be reminded that, “the wages of sin is death;” (6:23) When we are temped with sin, we must see it as death to us. We must run from death! Run for our lives! By His grace.

If there is any known sin in our lives that has yet to be confessed and forsaken, a form of death is taken place in us. Sin equals death, it’s just that simple! All sin must be confessed and forsaken, if we are to walk in the Spirit and live in the Spirit.

The Spirit of God does not flow through us when there is sin. It blocks the flow. God’s anointing, God’s power does not flow if there is unconfessed sin in our lives.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (it does say “all”) (1Jn.1:9)

We must yield ourselves to His righteousness, His grace, and be obedient to His word, which tells us how we should live in this present world.
Amen

Are you a secret disciple of Christ?

August 26, 2007

If so, it is because of the fear of man or pride. Either one will keep you from confessing Christ.

In the time of Christ, the fear of the Jews kept many from openly confessing Christ. In short, the fear of man did. They would be kicked out of the synagogue if caught confessing Christ. Let alone beatings and in some cases death. So because of this, they would go around “secretly”.

Here in America we suffer no real persecution for confessing Christ. Not yet anyway. What will happen here when real persecution comes? This question is to be answered now. Are you openly confessing Christ today? While you have the freedom with no persecution? If you can’t stand up now and be counted as “one of those”, what will you do when your life is at stake? If you can’t take it now while it’s easy, you will not make it then. Today is the day to prepare. It’s the day to ask yourself these questions.

If you can’t confess Jesus to your co-workers, friends and family now because of pride or fear, how will you fare when someone has a gun at your head? Are you fooling yourself?

“But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God”. (Jn.12-42-43)

We could say today,  “because of my co-workers, I would not confess my faith in Christ because of fear of losing my job. Or, my pride would be hurt. What would they think of me then? I would no longer be popular, I would then be labeled an “odd-ball” or a ” religious fanatic”.

The demons tremble when you confess Christ publicly. It shakes the kingdom of darkness. Your confession sets you apart. There is a separation that takes place when you openly confess Christ. It’s powerful! Try it!

Only fear of man and our pride keeps you from confessing Christ. The enemy of your soul is very content if you choose not to. I believe he smiles (if only he could).

Christ, speaking of persecution and fear in Matt. the 10th chapter said, “Whoever confesses (acknowledges) me before men, I will also confess him before my Father in heaven. But whoever shall deny me before men, I will deny him before my Father in heaven.” (vs.32-33)
Now that’s serious stuff! Did you get that? If this scripture didn’t sink in, you must read it again.

Did you know that by not speaking up for Christ in this sinful and adulterous generation that you are deny him? You surely can’t be ashamed of him, can you? After all He has done for you? The very least you can do is talk openly about Him just as if you know him personally, right? Just as He is your best friend, or is He?

“If we deny him, he will also deny us” (2Tim.2:12)

If we are not confessing Christ, then we are ashamed of him, point-blank. In the end, Christ will be ashamed of us when he comes back with the holy angels. (Mk.8:38) Now I know that is not what you want, right? So what is the thing to do then? CONFESS CHRIST WITH YOUR MOUTH, TODAY! He will bless you, for sure!

In order to “confess Christ” you must deny yourself. Your pride must go. You must get to the place where you no longer care what they think of you. If they hate you, that’s OK. If they no longer want anything to do with you, then that’s OK. If your friendship has to go, then it’s OK.
You must deny yourself and take up your cross and follow Christ wholeheartedly (Mk.8:34-38)

When you take up your cross, you are headed up the hill to be crucified. There is no turning back. You no longer think about how you look, or what they say about you. Our lives are to be on the cross daily, thus we “die daily”. Pride should die daily also.

In closing, there is no time to be a “secret disciple”. The day of “straddling the fence” is over. You are either confessing Christ and not ashamed of him, or you are being “secret” and in reality, ashamed of him. I know that is hard to hear, but it is true.

And the good news is, you can “Repent” today and get on track while there is still yet time. It’s still day when we can work.
Amen.