Tag Archives: sleep

Call to Go (Southeast Asia)

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I remember now why I do not take showers in the morning in Asia. The bone-chilling cold water should be reserved for after sweating all day in the heat. However, I am truly awake now as I write this.  This is just one of the few things when God has called us to go, we must give up to say yes.

Your will, your way, your wants and desires are always difficult to give up. “I want it my way.” You may not ever say it out loud, but this is the way you are. I know this, because this is the way I am.  Graciously, the Lord granted me several confirmations that this was a trip I was supposed to be on. I do not often get such clear direction and continually receive confirmation I am supposed to go. I usually just give Him my Yes out of faith.

After the 30+ hours of travel, I can say thank the Lord for giving me the ability to say Yes. Sitting on a plane for any extended amount of time is physically uncomfortable, to put it mildly. However, for me, it has always been hard to sleep so it becomes that much more difficult. But none of this matters because I have said Yes to Jesus and His call for me to go. Unfamiliar places, faces, food, accommodations… None of this really matters for I have given my whole-hearted Yes to Jesus and His way.  

The people here are worth it because He loves them. Even more than that, He is worth it and I love Him!!! Right now, in your life, what is of the greatest value? What do you love the most? What would you hold on to if everything else was stripped away? What if God called you to give that up to Go for Him?  Could you do it? 

My prayer for you is that you hear the call of the Lord to Go and that you say as Isaiah did, “Here I am, send Me!!! No matter the cost, no matter the price I will follow You and say Yes!!!” Jesus is worth flying to the other side of the world and giving up so much! In the same way, He is worth it to lay down your fear, pride, selfishness, to walk next door, up the street, down the fruit aisle… Or wherever else He may have you. He is worth it to give all that You have to speak His good news!!! He gave first, and He gave His best for you.

What do you have to give the Creator of the Universe??? 

I give You my, Yes and my obedience!!! Here I am!!! Send Me!!!

Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” 

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

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Complete Restoration

Daily Encouragement –

Do you need a little R&R? A little rest? A little relaxation? Do you desire a renewal? A restoration in body and mind?

True renewal and restoration can only come from Me! I made you and know what you need. You need more than an abundance of sleep and relaxation. You need your very soul restored. 

Come to Me! Return to Me! I am The Water of Life! I am able to renew and restore you over and over again! The things of this world can never truly satisfy or restore. These things will leave you wasted and wanting more. 

I want to fill you completely with all of My power, glory, and life so it overflows continually out of you. Come to Me over and over again, and I will fill you completely and continually!!! I love you My child!

Lamentations 5:21 “Turn us back to You, O Lord, and we will be restored; Renew our days as of old”

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Press In to Press On

Belize Day 6 –
Emerging from our shelter we were greeted with an unfamiliar sight.  Trees as large as houses were strewn everywhere. Branches and leaves had been stripped from the trees and scattered on every inch of the ground.  With the welcome morning light, this is what our eyes came upon.  A new world lay before us, somehow similar to the old, but oh so different.
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Some of us got to work cleaning up immediately and others went off to sleep in their beds and make sure their rooms were not torn apart.  We had a lot of things get wet in our room and some leaves had blown in, but besides that not much trouble.  The power being out is inconvenient for a lot of people, but just another effect of the storm. We worked all morning to pile branches and leaves. Sometime during the night, Santi had forgotten to move his vehicle to a safe place and it had been partially crushed by a monstrous tree.  The highlight of the morning was when we were finally able to get the tree off the truck and see that it was dented and had some broken windows but was still usable.
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Our next task was to clear the downed power lines so that we could get them repaired. Along, the way, we repaired the horse pen while many continued to stack the seemingly endless supply of broken branches and downed trees.  By lunch, most were exhausted and I had to sleep for a few hours.  After a quick nap, I got back to work until dinner when I found out that Sarah was apparently suffering from heat exhaustion and lack of sleep.  I know she worked just as hard as, if not harder than, the majority of the guys and never took a break for water or anything.  She was paying for it. Heidi and I went and prayed for her, and we saw an immediate improvement.  We sat around for about an hour around a candle talking and finally turned in for the night.  This has become a rather interesting real mission trip that most people were unprepared for.
Interestingly, a day or two before I left for Belize, God had spoken something to me during my prayer time.  I was praying and preparing spiritually for the trip and got a strange impression.  It was not even what I would call a word, but I felt as if this mission would be more than what we knew or expected and that we may not come back when we planned on it.  I know now that it was God, but then I had this feeling that this trip was going to be bigger than anyone expected and that something was going to happen that no one planned on or prepared for.  Like I said, it was not clear enough for me to tell the leaders, but it was this nagging thought.  I was unsure of what to expect or if I was just being silly, but I made plans in the physical to have everything taken care of in case I did not come back when I thought I would.
Now, I know that was a word from the Lord.  I doubt any of us would have gone if we had known that we would be in the middle of a hurricane.  However, God was preparing me even before the trip for unexpected things that would take place.  Even on my 28th mission trip, God is still giving me adventure and allowing me to experience something I had never done before and may never do again, endure through a hurricane.
Devotion – 
These are difficult times that we all live in.  God has chosen you to live at this time and He gives you everything that you need to succeed.  The more troubling things that are around you, the closer you need to get to Him!
 Press into Him and He will give you the ability to press on no matter the lack of sleep, uncomfortable conditions, pain, or whatever you may be going through.  
Interestingly, God revealed to me something that I never really could have known or been prepared for, experiencing a hurricane, during my time with Him.  I was close to Him even before the hard times came, and because of this, He was able to prepare me for the unknown hard times to come so that I was ready to endure when the time came.  This demonstrates how important it is to press into Him during the easy times as well as the difficult. 
Challenge – 
Today, ask God to help you to come closer to Him than ever before.  As you do this, look for the encouragement, strength, and life that will come as a result of deepening devotion and intimacy with Him!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Prayer and Fasting

Simple Discipleship

This is the fourth message in the series: Simple Discipleship.

We have already discussed, Being a Leader/Disciple, Intimacy/Love of God, Worship and Sacrifice.

Here is what we will be studying for next week:

Holy Spirit/Power of God

Scriptures for Study: 1 Sam 10:1-13, Joel 2:28-32, John 16:5-15, Acts 1:4-14, 2:1-11, 1 Cor 2:9-16.

Here are my Notes: Simple Discipleship Week 4

Here is the Audio Sermon: Prayer and Fasting

fasting and prayer

As we begin to look at prayer and fasting, we must first ask two important questions:

What is Prayer?

What is Fasting?

In studying this topic, my definition of prayer would be inviting God into our lives and situations by bringing things to Him.  

We are encouraged to pray without ceasing.  We are not supposed to go around with our eyes closed and heads bowed all the time, but wherever we go and whatever we are doing, we are to be in constant communication with God inviting Him into our situations and surroundings and making Him a part of our everyday activities.

In coming to understand more about it, my definition of fasting is giving up legitimate pleasures as a sacrifice to gain breakthrough and a deepening relationship with the Lord.  

God has given us necessary things, and it is the blessing of the Lord to us for them to be good.  However, in talking about sacrifice, we saw that we were to give up something important to us to gain a deeper relationship with God.  Fasting is a sacrifice of something that we  enjoy (Food, Entertainment, Sleep…) so that we get breakthrough and walk into a deeper communion with the Lord.

Fasting always works together with prayer.  Everywhere that fasting is mentioned it is in combination with prayer.  Fasting without prayer is just dieting.  The point of fasting is to give up a legitimate pleasure and use the extra time that we have to spend praying.

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In Daniel 10, in is clearly evident that as Daniel was praying and fasting, he was empowering God’s spiritual forces to bring about change.  Something happens as we fast in conjunction with prayer that empowers heavenly forces to win spiritual battles.  As a result of this, Daniel was strengthened, encouraged, and given answers that he was seeking.  You have the ability to empower heavenly forces to win spiritual victories through fasting and prayer!!!

In Isaiah 58, it is even more evident that fasting with the wrong motives and wrong heart is no good and not even accepted by God.  As we fast, God brings revelation to us and we then have the choice whether to repent and be obedient or to ignore the revelation.  When we ignore what God is saying, our fasting and praying is not powerful or effective but our hearts become increasingly hardened to the voice of God.  Fasting and prayer is powerful when we repent and walk in obedience to the revelation of the Lord.

Look at a few of the benefits of the right type of fasting and praying from v. 12.  God is able to build where there was once destruction.  The enemy is constantly trying to bring destruction in our lives, but through fasting and prayer, God is able to build something that lasts on top of this destruction.  God strengthens our foundations, revitalizes our spiritual heritage for us to pass on in greater measures to our children, fortifies our defenses and clarifies our paths.  This is the kind of fasting and prayer that I want to be a part of!!!

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In Matthew 6, we come to find the importance of not being religious.  In regards to both prayer and fasting, Jesus mentions the secret place.  The thoughts and intentions of our heart is what God judges so we should never do these things out of obligation or for other people to be proud of us.  We should have a genuine desire to grow closer to the Lord and out of that heart in the secret place, God is able to give spiritual treasures.  I would rather be rewarded by God rather than men any day!!!  

It is also important to realize that the prayer and fasting that we do right now affects eternity.  When we are in heaven, there will be no need to pray or fast because we will be partying with Jesus face to face.  Right now, we have the unique ability to affect eternity with our pure prayer and holy fasting!!!

In Habakkuk 2, we find out that it does not matter how you pray, but that you are actually communicating with God.  The prophet says clearly that he was waiting to be corrected.  Habakkuk’s prayers would raw and filled with emotion.  He did not come with proper words and civilized emotions.  He came as he was and expressed himself honestly and was willing to repent and be corrected.  

We also find the importance of prophetic revelation or vision.  Revelation from God gives us tiny glimpses into our God-sized destiny and this compels us to align ourselves with Him and move more into it.  As we write these things down, it is an encouragement to us when it takes longer to get here than we want (which is 99.99% of the time), an encouragement to others when it does finally come about, and a testimony to the glory and faithfulness of God.

The most important lesson from Mark 9 and Matthew 17 is that in the middle of our hopeless situations that we do not feel as if we can pray or have the faith to pray for complete deliverance and healing, we pray for the grace to overcome our doubt and for God to strengthen our faith.

I encourage you to pray and ask Holy Spirit to bring revelation as you meditate on these questions:

What am I praying for right now?

What are the things I have given up praying for?

Is my secret place worthy of being rewarded?

What has God revealed and called me to that I am not being obedient or repentant to?

What legitimate pleasure am I willing to give up that I might receive a spiritual breakthrough in myself and the lives of others and be launched into a deeper communion with the Lord?

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I pray even now that God would give us all hungry hearts to know Him in deeper and mightier ways than ever before.  Help us all to repent of the things which you reveal in our hearts and surrender to walk in full obedience to what He is calling us to.  May our secret places be worthy of reward, and may God bring forth mighty spiritual rewards because of our faithfulness and perseverance in the secret place.

I would like to encourage you to pray and give something up in fasting so that you are able to step into a deeper walk with the Lord and that greater spiritual breakthrough would come in your life!!!

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

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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!!!

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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?

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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!!!

 

 

Shelter from the Fire

This week has been a special and yet interesting week for the Gibson family! Last Friday, we had the joy of Jeremiah’s younger brother, Aaron, returning home from Army training. Jeremiah and I have not seen him since before we left on our around the world faith journey over a year ago. So it is great getting to catch up with him and hang out during his 1 week stay here in Texas before he heads to his new station in Washington D.C. We have been able to have times of encouragement with him on Saturday at our small group as well as Sunday morning at breakfast with some friends.

Sunday afternoon we had a Gibson family get-together at Jeremiah’s older brother, Garrett’s house. It has been a long time since all of the Gibson kids were in the same room together, seeing as the majority of us are running all over the world following the global call of God on our lives. This time, we were missing Tiffany and Bryson who are in England, but were able to Skype Tiffany for some time and talk to her so that was a blessing. There is no telling when the whole family will be back together again. Aaron will be able to come back home over Christmas for a few days, however, Tiffany and Bryson will probably be spending the holidays in England.

Garrett, Aaron, and Jeremiah

Garrett, Aaron, and Jeremiah

On Monday, I babysat our nephew, Noah, for his mother, Damaris, who was taking the newest addition to the family, little Joseph, to the doctor. I received a call from Damaris in the morning before her appointment saying that it would be delayed because they had a fire at their house. It appears that a nursing pillow in their room had fallen onto a nightlight and went unnoticed until she heard Joseph, who was sleeping on their bed, coughing on the baby monitor; after which she smelled smoke. She ran into the room and grabbed Joseph and left the house, calling the Fire Department. The fire was very controlled and remained in one corner of their room where the firefighters were able to put it out. They lost a few of Joseph’s things but God definitely was watching out for them and divinely protected them, keeping them safe.

The Nursing Pillow

God knew what would happen so He had Noah come stay with us for the day and if Joseph had not coughed, Damaris might not have known for longer. God even orchestrated the weather to be cold and very windy outside so that they could leave the windows open for it to air out their house. Nothing goes unnoticed with the Lord. He sees all things, knows what will happen and also acts on our behalf. Isaiah 64:4 says, “For from of old no one has heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who works and shows Himself active on behalf of him who [earnestly] waits for Him.”  

Firefighters and Baby Joseph

God is forever faithful and protects His children, sheltering them under the shadow of His wings. May this be an encouragement to you that if God is for you, who shall be against you? (Romans 8:31)

Katie, Pure Fire of Yahweh!!!

Committed Consecration

The advent of wireless Internet is an amazing thing especially as we are traveling. It is especially fun that you are able to take part in some portion of all of our adventures. However, it also means we are at the mercy of the places we are. We have not been able to post as much because we lost the Internet at our abode. I guess it is in some ways a preparation for the lack in India,Cambodia, and anywhere else we have limited access.

This week, I was privileged to bring a message to our cell group. This is not a message that most people may accept, but the mature body of believers I spoke to grabbed ahold of the promise and the word and is running with it. I believe you will to!!! If you have known me for a time, you know that Moses is one of my favorite guys in the Bible. Even beyond that, one of my favorite passages of scripture is Exodus 20:18-21. Here, we see that after three days of consecration, the people of Israel see, hear, smell, and feel the presence of The Lord on Mount Sinai. It even reveals in Deuteronomy that they hear the very voice of God. Even though they had completely consecrated themselves to The Lord for three days, they saw and felt the Holiness of The Lord and were afraid that if they saw or spoke with God anymore that they would die. Moses, being no different than any of them (except maybe that he had murdered someone), knew the holiness of God and knew that nothing of this world was worth keeping in compare to being in the very presence of The Lord. He was not even afraid to die. He just wanted to be in the place that the presence of The Lord was the greatest.

If we think of Moses and how he was able to give up all the passing pleasures of this earth just to gain the prize of knowing God in an intimate way, we see how different he was than most of us. We are so commonly unwilling to give up sleep or food, most of which we get an over abundance of. If we are to know The Lord in the deepest way possible on this earth, we must give up the weights and snares that hold us back from knowing Him. In Hebrews 12:1, we agree that we should be rid of sin, but the weights may be good things that just hold us back or slow us down from knowing Him. Things get in the way, distractions, and we must remove them if we want to know Him. We can always look at others and say that we are more holy than other people because we do, or don’t do, more of any given thing than them. However, when we view our personal righteousnesses against the holiness of The Lord, Isaiah says they are like filthy rags (maybe used toilet paper in today’s language).

I would encourage you to spend some time with Holy Spirit and see if there is one or more things that you need to consecrate to him and not do, and do more of the getting to know Him that we are all so quick to be too busy to do. Several people in the group decided to cut out television and focus on The Lord. What will you do to get closer to The Lord? I don’t know about you, but I have no love of the things of this world, and I am trying to be willing to give up all this world has to offer for the knowledge of knowing Him. Holiness is a gift that brings us closer to Him, we just have to get all the other things out of the way so that we can be more like Him and be closer to Him!!!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire