Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Do you really want more?

This week our church is asking everyone to fast and pray, and then join together on Saturday for the Rock Bridge Day of Prayer. The event will be at each campus from 7 AM to 7 PM and are self-guided experiences with some corporate prayer and worship as well as prayer stations.  Come for as little as a few minutes or as long as you want.

Why do we do this?

You see, It's not enough to want something.  We actually have to seek it.

And those are two very, very different things!

We all want things and desire things.  But will we take a real step of action toward them?  Will we clear out time on the calendar to do something about them?  Will we take even a reckless or haphazard step in the direction of the desire or dream that at least gets some momentum going?  Are we willing to possibly waste some effort in the direction of the dream?

I think we don't most often because of the fear it won't make a difference, and that it's wasted effort.  So we don't want to take the risk.

But when it comes to wanting more of God and more of His Spirit, His power, His grace, and His presence in our lives, God assures us He will give it to us if we only ask! 

Jesus says it this way in Luke 11:11-13:
"What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”

God assures us that seeking Him will never be wasted time! 

It will never fall to the ground as a dud and be effort we regret. I can guarantee you that time on social media very well may be a complete waste (it may not, but just saying!). Time watching videos or TV may be a complete waste. There are lots of things we do with our lives and our time that have a very low probability of fruitfulness!

But seeking God is NEVER unfruitful!

Listen to how Jesus says it in Matthew 7:7-8:
"Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened."

As we join together this week to fast and pray (and there are lots of options on fasting), would you join with us starting tomorrow,Thursday, March 22nd through Saturday March 24th, in seeking God for MORE of Him?

What are we specifically praying for:
  • More of His Holy Spirit in our lives.
  • More love and power and freedom to live victorious lives that attract the lost.
  • More of His power and grace in our families, schools, workplaces, communities and world.
  • More of HIM!

Again, it's not enough to want Him, we have to SEEK HIM!  Will you join with us in seeking Him?

I can't wait to see how He responds to the seeking of His children!!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Business of Asking - (Alfred Turley)

I actually posted this a year ago on my own Facebook page.  It reminded me so much of the message we heard this weekend at Rock Bridge on prayer, I thought it was a great refresher for me, and surprisingly right in line with what Matt said!  Keep on ASKING and let's see what God does!
Most people who know me can attest that I am pretty passionate about prayer. I do it a lot, and I’ve always said it’s because I’ve been fearful in the past, and that drives me desperately to God, and (surprise!) He faithfully comes through time after time. So I do it more because it’s a habit, and He in fact ROCKS and loves me, and ANSWERS. 
But prayer can feel intimidating and like busywork and so many people just wonder why in the world do we have to pray? I mean, God, WHY? 
Recently I was reading in the Psalms and had just started into Psalm 2, when God laughs over the rebellion of the nations and over those who think they can push Him aside. He then announces His own Son will be King (whom we know is revealed to be Jesus) and declares in vs 7-8: 
I will declare the Lord’s decree: He said to Me, “You are My Son; today I have become Your Father. 8 Ask of Me, and I will make the nations Your inheritance and the ends of the earth Your possession.
Here is what struck me: God tells His own son…. ASK. Hmmm…. He doesn’t just decree in this passage that He will make the nations His inheritance, He says ASK. And over and over throughout the Bible we see that God always first raises up those who will ASK, and then He acts. 
Why does God work in this way? 
Well here are a few things that today I have been reflecting one, but these are in no way an exhaustive list. 
God wants us to want it. God wired us to live with passion, with full hearts and with joy and energy. He wants us to work to align our desires with His. This is a process that comes about through getting to know Him and worshipping Him and seeing how amazing He is. But once we know Him, we begin to want the things He wants, and that’s when He loves to answer our prayers, because He wants the same things! 
God wants to “do life with us.” God wants us to live in the awareness of His reality and presence all the time. He enjoys the fellowship and the relationship and wants us to enjoy Him as well. Prayer is a terrific way (again, continually asking and conversation) to stay aware of God and filled with the Holy Spirit. In John 15 Jesus says, "I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.” This is a stark reminder that apart from Him and a connection to Him, we can do nothing of spiritual value. PERIOD. 
God loves to surprise and delight His children. (Put another way, blow our minds!) I love 1 Corinthians 2:9 "But as it is written: What eye did not see and ear did not hear, and what never entered the human mind— God prepared this for those who love Him.” God loves us dramatically! His love for His children is radical and beyond understanding! He wants us to ask, to seek and knock, and then dramatically come through so that we stand in awe of Him and His love, and our trust becomes strong and vibrant. 
God has chosen to work through us. This is a tremendous mystery in my mind, but He loves us and wants to give us the privilege of making an impact in our world with Him. We can’t do it alone, and He has chosen to not do it without us. Asking is our way to unleash the power and resources of Heaven into our lives and our world. We get the chance to partner with Him, and that is a tremendous honor and privilege. 
Well those are just a few things that I thought of today that I wanted to share! 
Have you spent some time ASKING God today? He loves you, wants to work through you and with you and give you the delight of knowing His presence and His love. Spend some time asking and talking to Him today!