buildingbodies4christ

building on the foundation of Jesus Christ

Archive for the tag “Audacious”

A New Rhythm

We had a rather nasty storm roll through our area last week causing high wind. My yard was covered in pine cones and sticks. This past Sunday was gorgeous, and I decided to enjoy the afternoon picking up sticks (and pine cones). The morning was spent in church, and I also listened to another service on line. I was ready to digest the messages I heard. Something about activity helps me to process information as well as gives me head space for the Holy Spirit to speak.

While I was outside doing my thing, there were a couple of teenagers who walked by. I heard them coming when they turned the corner to come down my street. They had some type of music playing (loudly) while they walked. As they walked by, I thought it would be cool to have a soundtrack playing as we walked through our lives. What would my soundtrack be? The theme from Rocky? An Enya tune (is she still around)? Something peppy? Or something low key? Or something dramatic with anticipation for the moment? As I was contemplating that thought, my mind drifted into the messages I heard.

On Saturday, I listened to a speaker (Lisa Nichols) who gave a very inspirational talk concerning her book Abundance Now. She had a couple of points that were worth writing down and remembering. In her teen years, Lisa told a story how her grandmother encouraged her before a big swim meet. The meet was going to be an impossible feat as she was competing in an older age class. Her grandmother told her “winners never quit, and quitters never win; and she was not a quitter.”

At the start of the race, Lisa began to repeat “Winners never quit, quitters never win;” over and over. It became her cadence for her strokes. When she flipped for her turn, she saw her close competitor, but she thought they were in competition for dead last. When she finally touched the wall, she was alone – no one was even close to finishing beside her. She had out swum everyone in the heat and set a national record. That saying became the “soundtrack” that played throughout the tough times in her life. I must admit I was a bit envious of Lisa’s story. It’s powerful with lots of things to contemplate.

For the last week or so, I have been pondering my vision or my goals for my life. I don’t seem to have anything really out there to strive for. I don’t really have something I want to accomplish before I die. Sure, I want to have a great legacy; to mark my time here on earth. But I have no clue what I should do for God’s Kingdom. These thoughts led to the message from Sunday morning. That message was “shameless audacity” for praying bold prayers. The pastor said, “The size of your prayers shows the size of your God.”

Hmmm, my prayers seem to be rather anemic right now. I have had a few times in my life where I have prayed specifically for God to act and He did. But this is not a general characteristic of my prayer life. I throw out generalities and ask God to handle things (in His will). If I want God to act in a BIG way, then I have to ask persistently and ask them boldly for His intervention. The pastor mentioned he believed that God likes for us to ask for BIG things – it actually honors Him when we believe He can do what we ask of Him. Prayers shouldn’t be a formality, but a heart turned toward Him – seeking Him HARD! Pursuing Him with shameless audacity.

Lisa didn’t know she had a national title in her, but her grandmother knew of her potential. God knows our potential as well. He knows what He has put in us. But we have to be willing to get in the water and start making the waves by our strokes. We have to be in bold prayer to ask God to move mightily in us and through us. We need to listen to the right soundtrack and make sure we have people in our corner who will cheer us on. There is a point of intersection where our desires and His Kingdom come together.

Swimmers have racing lanes. We each run our own race. God didn’t give everyone the same vision. We all have an individual lane marked out for us. But we’ll never get to the wall if we quit now. I want to finish well, and break all the barriers to a fruitful life. Winners never quit, and our victory has already been won! Thank you, Jesus! Honor God with bold requests, and watch Him do amazing things!

“So I say to you: 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; he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10)

Wiped Away

The end of the seven-year cycle passed with a whimper. God has used this seven-year pattern throughout much of modern history to raise nations up or bring them down. He has used it to wipe away debt. Over the previous seven-year cycles, debt has been wiped out by dramatic swings of the stock market. When the last few weeks were showing the same signs of a likely crash, I thought God was going to do it again. But the time has passed and to my knowledge, nothing has happened. Did God forget about this timetable thing? Didn’t He know we were anticipating something to occur? It’s almost a disappointment. Until I come to my senses and realize this is something we don’t want to see happen!

It just shows us: God’s ways are not our ways; God’s time is not our time. It also occurs to me; there is something always going on behind the scenes that we are not privy to. There is an ongoing war, which is unseen to our naked eye. It is a spiritual war; which if seen, would cause us to faint dead away. God has a plan we do not see. We are not privy to His thoughts. We can seek His guidance and ask for wisdom. God gives us His Spirit to communicate His desires to us. We have to be paying attention to His promptings.

I was listening to the evening news last night when I heard this comment by the anchor: the fires raging in California are wiping away houses and whole towns. California has seen disastrous fires over the last few months. Fires are destroying millions of acres of forests, homes and towns. Flooding is also going on in part of the western states. Both are extreme natural occurrences. They are historic in measure. What in the world is going on?

Nothing catches God by surprise. He doesn’t pace in His throne room looking for an answer to the world’s problems. He already knows the circumstances. Our job in the meantime is to believe in His Sovereignty and in His goodness. Fire burns away the perishable things, but leaves the imperishable. Floods leave behind a new landscape. We are to believe God is who He says He is, and He will do what He says He will do. We are to trust in Him and live according to His perfect will and pleasure. Through the Holy Spirit, we are given eyes that see and ears that hear. We are given a greater understanding into God’s perfect plan by His Holy Word.

Beth Moore spoke on Saturday about being audacious. She said we are built for fire. It’s the passion that burns in our bones. The fire of the Holy Spirit does not consume us but fuels us. In the last days, we will be given greater audacity to have more “guts for God’s glory.” We are not given a spirit of fear. We are given the power of the Holy Spirit! In future events, Beth mentioned fear will go viral. We cannot be swept into the wildfire of fear. And we cannot be lulled into complacency. We need to be awake to the world around us. What is unseen can be made known to those who are aware. God says He will pour out His Spirit on His sons and daughters in these last days. The Holy Spirit is our guide and our teacher.

Whatever suffering we must endure here is nothing in comparison to the glory that will be revealed in us (Romans 8:18). Jesus is worth the sacrifice we must endure. Jesus asks us to count the cost of following Him. Do we have what it takes when everything is wiped away? Can we say with certainty, Jesus is everything to me? In God’s economy, up is down. In humility, we seek the all-knowing God who does not leave us in times of trouble. We will have trouble in the days ahead, but we are given a greater hope in the future. God is who He says He is. And He delivers on His promises!

For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.) Romans 8:22-25 (NLT)

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