Tag Archives: reality

God’s Witness (Know) 31/40

You are invited to join us for The Propel Fast! Please review Propelled To The Next Level and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement

As we move into the last 10 days of The 40, do not forget to focus your eyes on The King of The Kingdom. He rewards us as we diligently seek Him.  If you are able to give more to The Lord, let’s do it together. He is worth so much more than we could ever give. Let us worship Him in a special way the last 10 days of this fast. 

Yesterday’s encouragement was a shift in what God has been speaking and revealing.  God is speaking about seeking Him and growing into the powerful witness, He has created us to be. Over the next several days, we will see how we can become Holy Spirit filled witnesses of the good news!!!

Today, we will start at a place that we are familiar with, but it can never be neglected, forgotten or emphasized enough.  We must come to know God more and more and grow in our relationship with Him. When I speak of knowing God, I am not just talking about a head knowledge that we are accustomed with.  I am speaking of the old Biblical sense of know.  “Adam knew his wife and conceived a son” (Genesis 4:1).  This kind of intimate relationship goes far beyond a mental aspect of knowing.  Jesus is the vine and we are the branches without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5). 

What is the key to bearing fruit? Abiding, remaining, knowing Him!

This is not a new concept that Jesus brings us during his time on earth. Let’s move back to the prophet Isaiah long before Jesus and see the constant, faithful, unchanging heart of God for us to know Him.

Isaiah 43:1-3 “But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior…

God is our creator and redeemer. He has a plan and purpose for designing us and creating us. He has called each one is us by name to come to Him.  We are His.  We may not live walk or act like it, but we have been called and chosen by the Creator of the universe.  He did not make us and leave us on our own as some believe, but He is always with us.  Even in the darkest, most difficult times in our lives He is with us!  The flames of the enemy will not destroy us when we are near to Him. When we are near to The Lord we will not be overcome. 

Why does He do all these things for us?

He is The Lord our God, our Savior!!! Before we move on, know this, you are never alone when you are seeking The Lord.  It may seem like your prayers are going unanswered.  Situations are difficult, the storms, floods, and fire may be coming against you, but you will stand firm as you stand with God in His strength for you are His!

As we walk through the fires, floods, and storms of this life, we have come to know God our Strength, our Sustainer, our Provider, our Savior.  From this place of real life revelation and testimony of what God has done for us, we are called to be His witnesses.

Vs 10-12 “You are My witnesses,” says the Lord, “And My servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, Nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord, And besides Me there is no savior. I have declared and saved, I have proclaimed, And there was no foreign god among you; Therefore you are My witnesses,” Says the Lord, “that I am God.

There is nothing wrong with Christian apologetics and logical historical evidence that gives witness to the reality of a historical Jesus, but your very life and the testimony of what He has brought you through is an undeniable witness on display that brings glory to God.   The more each of us come to know God, trust in Him, and are transformed into His image, the greater testimony we have. As we come to know Him and our testimony increases, we become a growing witness to God’s goodness, faithfulness, and are able to give Him greater glory from our lives.  Nothing and no one else can cause such a transformation as has taken place in the lives of those who are daily coming to know Jesus more.

This is the first step of being a Holy Spirit empowered martyr-level witness and my encouragement for you today.  Come to know The Savior, Redeemer, and Sustainer more than ever before.  Come to know Him, and recognize what He has taken you through and out of. This has caused your very life to be a witness of who God is.  You are God’s undeniable witness right where you are today. Never be afraid to share who He is that has done such a mighty work in your life!

Jesus, help me come to know You more than ever before! Than, you for touching, changing, and transforming me from a rebellious, selfish sinner into a faithful, righteous saint. Use my life as a witness and testimony of You for Your glory. Even in the middle of the storms of life, I want my life to radiate Your glory because You are with me keeping me from harm.  I want to be Your witness and testimony in every aspect of my life!

Practical –

  • Ask Holy Spirit to help you come to know Him in a greater way today
  • Remember where you have come from, and what He has brought you out of
  • Thank God for His mighty work in Your life
  • Ask to be used as a greater witness and testimony for His glory

Be blessed today with revelation of the life-changing power of knowing Jesus more. May you see clearly where you have come from and how He has been with you through the journey.  May you be a living testimony and witness that continually gives glory to God!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Increase Expectation 25/40

You are invited to join us for The Propel Fast! Please review Propelled To The Next Level and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement!

Here we are at day 25!  It is hard to imagine before The 40 that we could be so far in and a little over two weeks from completing the commitment God has placed in our hearts.  The spiritual benefits that come from the daily overcoming of obstacles to remain faithful in worship to The King of The Universe will one day astound us all.  Never give in to the fleshly desires now in exchange for the eternal reward that is being built up for you and everyone around you.  Let’s press on and press in together.

By this time, the weight of the impossible has probably tried to crush you or in the very least discourage you.  Several people have indicated to me this week that they were worried about me physically.  One even said that I was crazy and out of my mind.  However, as long as we are partnered with Jesus and what He has for us, I would rather be walking in the mind of Christ than my own mind anyway.  

It should not be a surprise to any of us that trusted spiritual and especially worldly influences around us do not understand the depth of what is taking place.  The God of great grace and mercy has called us out, or we have submitted to Him out of worship, in order for the impossible to take place.  When God moves, it is not understood completely by the most spiritual people we could ever think of.  We desire the perfect grace and mercy of God to be made manifest in us, our families, neighborhoods, workplaces, regions, and nations.  As much as we think we may understand Him and His ways, we do not.

We can see clearly that hunger and expectation has the ability to change the situations around us.  The woman with the issue of blood (Luke 8:43-48) only wanted to get close enough to touch Jesus’ garment.  She did what was illegal and could have gotten her stoned to death by pushing,maybe even crawling, through a crowd of people and just to put her “unclean” hands on Jesus.  It was her hunger and expectation that drove her to do what others would not.  This was the faith that healed and restored her.  This is where we are today. We are all believing for the “impossible” things to happen for the glory of God!

But what if these things do not happen during or after The 40? 

What if we go through The 40 and do not see anything change? 

What if our hunger and expectation are seemingly not rewarded?

Take heart, my brothers and sisters, this will align us on the same level as one “after God’s own heart”, David.  David was hand picked by the Lord and anointed to be king long before it actually takes place. David has to live a life of character and actually doing the job of the king, like challenging Goliath, before he ever saw the promotion that God had anointed him for.  Eventually, he became king and did great for a while.

However, it seems David had a weakness for women.  Because David decided to give in to this weakness just one time, it led him to deception, adultery, murder, and pain.  The prophet Nathan reveals that God has seen it all and finally David repents.  What is the judgment for all of this sin? David’s recently born son would die. This is where we pick up in the scripture reading for today:

2 Samuel 12:15-16 And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it became ill. David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground.

Even though David knew he deserved the judgment and punishment that God had said, he increases his expectation that God’s great mercy and grace is greater than his sin.  David comes in humility, prayer, and fasting and cries out to God for mercy for his baby.  He does this for 7 days until the baby dies.  His servants do not even want to tell him that his baby has died because they are unsure what he will do when he finds out the worst has happened.  David’s hopes, desires, and expectations for the life of his baby because of the mercy of God are about to be crushed.  What will his response be?  

I do not know what the physicians were telling him and Bathsheba, but God had told him the baby would die.  That seems to be a very definite thing to me.  Surely, trusted and godly people came in after a few days of prayer and fasting and felt the need to prepare him for the worst.  There was no reason for him to expect that God would do anything different than He Himself had said.  However, David increased expectation in The God of grace and mercy. Throwing himself at the feet of The Great Shepherd and walking through the valley of the shadow of death, David is rewarded with seemingly nothing.  Here is David’s response when he finds out this baby is dead:

Vs. 20 So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate. 

He cleans himself up, puts on his best worship attire, and goes to The house of The Lord and worships.  Great expectations unmet did not crush David and cause him to turn away, but causes him to be able to praise through the pain of unmet expectation.  This does not make sense to anyone and they ask him about it.

Vs. 21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate food.”

His expectations and prayers were unmet, and he chose to worship and adore God anyway because he knew His God. The Great God of Mercy and Grace was still the same whether David got what he desired or not.  

Vs. 22-23 And he said, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”

David knew the value in hunger and increasing expectation to work mighty things in the heavenly realm.  It had not happened the way he wanted.  However, because of a right heart of hunger and expectation to pray the greatest prayer he could think of, he was prepared to praise even through the pain.  Immediately after this, Solomon is born and God names him Jedidiah which means beloved of the Lord. David’s hunger and expectation caused a blessing to take place that was not the way David prayed or wanted, but came about at a different time and different way. 

This is the kind of hunger, expectation, and faith that I want!

No matter the difficulties, trials, and impossibilities that we bring to the Lord during this time, may we all increase our hunger and expectation to see the impossible made manifest into reality. Even if these things do not take place how we want or think they should, we must pray for the best and cry out to God. Today, increase your hunger and expectation and may this increase your worship through both met and unmet expectations.

Jesus, increase my hunger and expectation today. I want to have faith for the impossible miracles to take place no matter what I see or hear.  Help me to trust You to bring about the greatest good as my expectations are increased, and I cry out to You for the greatest good. Help me to never be discouraged or back down from believing the best no matter what I may see with my eyes or hear with my ears.  

Practical –

  • Take a good look at what you are praying for.
  • Ask Holy Spirit to help you increase expectation and hunger to believe in the greatest possible good
  • Ask for strength, grace, and mercy for the faith to continually believe for the impossible
  • Ask for worship and fresh faith to replace discouragement or unbelief that tries to come in

Be blessed with an exponential increase of expectation and hunger to continuously believe for what seems impossible to man. May all discouragement and unbelief be replaced with worship and even more increased expectation because of new revelations of The Great God of Mercy and Grace in your life..

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Expect the Unexpected (Southeast Asia)

Headhunter warriors

Headhunter warriors give their lives to Jesus!!!

Often, our expectations, true or false, will determine our reality. All of us have expectations of the way things will be especially when outside of our routine. Often, I will tell my wife to expect the unexpected; but today, God decided to remind me of this and shatter some of my false expectations.

Many things have already happened on this trip that were better than I had expected. We were told there would be no AC and I did not expect hot water… Hence the way I started out the last post (I just did not know how to work it right). Surprisingly, we have both. I am thankful for them, but God knew they were not necessary for me.

Another thing I did not expect was the opportunity to try some new foods. Both dog and bat were served at a service I went to. Everything was so spicy that through the sweating, tears, and raging fire in my mouth, I could not taste much. I have decided that I do not like bat though because there are way too many bones and not enough meat.  Somehow, I survived.

But really, none of that really matters. What would take place after this service is beyond what I ever expected. Originally, the team I am with had prepared the way by speaking to the pastors and having them prepare homes to visit where the lost would get saved.  The Pastor I was with was not there so he did not receive these instructions. Instead, he decided for us to go out witnessing on the street. When I found this out, I immediately began praying for strength and ability. Those of you who know me could easily surmise I do not have the gift of evangelism, and mass evangelism in public is rather intimidating to me.  I had to give the situation to God and ask Him to give me grace to do something that was entirely outside my comfort zone and expectations.  I am sure I will have to do the same thing tomorrow.

All the way from the service to the first place we would go out, I was praying silently and feverishly. God gave me grace in an excited couple that gathered the people into groups and then had me come over and share. This made it a little easier, but not really more comfortable.  The picture above was the first group they had me come share with.  The intimidation factor is way up there when four people in full headhunting warrior dress are standing there with swords and skulls hanging from their waists looking at you.  God gave me the grace to go all in and all of those red warriors and a few other people around got saved.  We ended up sharing for around an hour and 19 people, that I know of, prayed to become born again.  This was far more than I expected as uncomfortable as I was going in. I praise God for His grace, strength, and boldness to share.

So, what about you? What expectations do you have that need to be broken down? The enemy will always try to put false expectations on you to hold you back from the fullness that God has. What comforts do you need to release? What fears need to be broken? What expectations need to change to come into line with what God wants? Only He can change your wrong mindsets. But, you have to be willing to step out of the boat!!! If I had said no for any reason, I would not have seen these souls enter the Kingdom. If Peter had said no, he never would have gotten out of the boat. Yes, you may fall, but Jesus will be right there with you to save you and put you back on your feet.  

I invite you to ask God right now, to change your expectations to expect what was once unexpected to you. My God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that I ask for hope for or imagine through His power working in me.” I pray that you allow that same power to work through you as you follow and obey Him!!!

Matthew 14:28-31 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 

Jeremiah, Man in Fire!!!

Piece of The Puzzle

Daily Encouragement –

What is the dream and vision in your heart? What do you truly desire? What are you holding onto and will never let go? 

I am faithful!!! My promises are true and perfect! I will complete everything I have purposed and spoken! The pure dream and desire in your heart comes from Me. Do not let it be tainted by the temporary pleasures of this life! 

Come to Me and let My presence wash over you to purify and cleanse you from the ways of this world. Let My pure and holy desire be renewed again within you!!! Hold tightly to Me and the dream I have placed in your heart and never let go!!! Come and partner with My dream and desire that I have revealed in you. 

Who would dare seek Me out, discover the dream and desire of My heart, hold fast to it and never let it go until My Kingdom comes to this earth? 

Stir yourself up to take hold of Me and encourage others to do the same. Only together can you make My heart’s desire a reality. In doing this, your dream, a tiny piece of My dream, will come into its fullness. Let’s go after it together!!! I love you My child!!!

Hebrews 10:22-24 “let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,”

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Shepherding in Truth

Daily Encouragement –

Have you given Me your whole heart? Are you pretending or trying to fool someone? I know the Truth and reality in your heart. You can never fool Me. I will not let you try to fool yourself forever either. 

I am merciful and ready to heal any backsliding and forgive all sin. Bring your darkness to the light, acknowledge your sin, and turn from it. Whether blatant sin or not obeying fully what you have been told to do, bring all these things to Me. I will forgive, heal, and set you free from all the guilt and condemnation. 

I am waiting for you to come to Me in Truth so I can shepherd you with My heart. I will give knowledge and understanding of Me, My heart, and My ways as you fully come to Me!!! I love you My child!!!

Jeremiah 3:10, 12-13, 15 Judah has not turned to Me with her whole heart, but in pretense,” says the Lord. 
Return, backsliding Israel,’ says the Lord; ‘I will not cause My anger to fall on you. For I am merciful,’ says the Lord; ‘I will not remain angry forever. Only acknowledge your iniquity, That you have transgressed against the Lord your God,
…And you have not obeyed My voice,’ says the Lord.
[Return] And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Expand the Horizons

Daily Encouragement – “You must step into all I have for you. It is time to revive dead dreams and bring new life to waning vision. It is time to biggerize the small dreams and visions and bring them into reality. 
 
Expand the horizons of those around you and push them into the great plans and purposes I have for them.
 
 The world crushes dreams and causes My children to lose sight of the greatness of My plans and purposes. What I have for you is always bigger than you think and that is why you need Me.” Eph 3:20
Jeremiah, Man on Fire

Worship and Sacrifice

Simple Discipleship

This is the third week is the Simple Discipleship series.  Here are the first two messages in this series.

  1. Being a Leader/Disicple
  2. Intimacy/Love of God

Here is the topic of study for next week:

Worship and Sacrifice

  • My notes can be found here: Simple Discipleship Week 3
  • Here is the Audio Teaching from Feb 17, 2016: http://lwcburleson.sermon.net/main/main/20609931

men-raise-hands-to-worship-God

As we begin learning about Worship and Sacrifice, we must first ask ourselves,

What is Worship?  

What is Sacrifice?

If we do not have a proper understanding of these things, then as we discuss them, we will never come to a true understanding.  My prayer is that as we investigate the scriptures, that we will understand even more the meaning of these and how we can apply them to our lives.

Worship – Honoring and lifting high another as higher than yourself out of a heart of love in response to God’s word, act, or nature.

Sacrifice – Giving up completely something that is greatly important to you for the benefit of another because you love them.

Here, I am talking specifically of the worshiping God, but we worship and lift high so many things that are undeserving.  Food, sleep, money, fashion, entertainment, sports, people, can all be worshiped in spite of not being worth it.  In this one statement, you may be feeling judged and your toes may feel stepped on, but this is the reality of the matter in my life as well as the lives of so many others.

We have a struggle in the morning when our alarms go off whether we will rise and spend time with the Lord worshiping Him or worship the god of sleep that is so seductive especially when it comes time to make the decision.  I could go on and on about each one of these, but every time we choose these things over obedience to God and love for Him, we are worshiping them and lifting them high as the important things in our lives.

Worship

In 2 Chronicles 21, we come to learn that we worship God when we accept His word and are obedient without doubting or questioning what He says.  Jehosophat had no direct command of God to put His worshipers on the front lines.  They did it out of an act of obedience and thus worshiped God by being obedient and trusting in the word of God.

In Genesis 22, Abraham is called to sacrifice his son that God had just revealed was the son of promise.  Abraham trusted God in such a way that as they went to the mountain in Vs. 5 Abraham says we go to worship.  Abraham’s heart of sacrifice is a true act of worship to God.  He was willing to give whatever God asked in obedience out of his great love for Him.

In John 4,

What Jesus mean to worship God in Spirit and truth?

  • God wants a constant communion with you in the day to day.  He does not want you to worship Him in a church or at your house only, but in the Spirit everywhere you go in every situation that you are in.
  • God wants you to be honest with Him.  You cannot fool God.  He sees the thoughts and intentions of your heart.  If you are giving Him something small and seemingly mediocre out of a good heart, it is greater worship than giving the very most you have out of a wrong heart. (1 Cor 13:3)

In Malachi 1, God desires our very best.  If we bring God half-hearted worship out of duty, these things are not pure and holy and actually dishonor and disrespect God.  He would rather no one worship than to have duty-filled worship out of grudging hearts.  He wants pure and holy worship that is a true witness to who He is.  This only comes when we are giving God our best out of a willing and loving heart.

In 2 Samuel 24, David reveals that God is blessed by our sacrifice more than he is blessed by our excess.  We see this concept over and over throughout the Bible that when we give God something valuable to us, that is true worship.  Those giving because they have extra does not impress God.  Jesus states this in a different way when talking of the widow in Mark 12:41-44. God desires our pure and holy sacrifice so He can bless us with better than our very best!!!

men-raise-hands-to-worship-God

Finally, in Luke 7, a “sinner” probably a prostitute comes in to the middle of the pastors and elders of their day.  She humbles herself completely to the judgmental and critical thoughts and stares and worships Jesus.  This “sinner”  sacrificed more and gave more in worship than anyone else around.  Because of her sacrifice and true heart of worship, her sins are forgiven, and she is saved.  She was forgiven much and so loved much.  The fact that she loved much caused her to sacrifice her most valuable possession and her pride as an act of worship to Jesus.

Does you love cause you to sacrifice your pride and valuables in worship to the Lord? 

Nothing I have spoken is out of judgment or condemnation, but Holy Spirit has even convicted me in studying these things.  Our love for God will always lead us to a true worship which is displayed in what we are willing to sacrifice for our True Love.

Ask Holy Spirit these questions and be obedient in what He is speaking:

Are you giving your very best to God?  This is true worship.

What is God calling you to sacrifice to love Him and worship Him in a deeper way?

worship1

May you be blessed with knowing more of the Love of God than ever before, and may you receive the fullness of the blessing that comes through true worship and sacrifice.

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!