Posts Tagged With: IHOPKC
Attributes of God-Volume II by A.W. Tozer
Introduction: God’s Character
…So I only have this one hope: As the poor little donkey rebuked the madness of the prophet and as the rooster crowed one night to arouse the apostle and bring him to repentance, so God may take me and use me. As Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of the little donkey, so I pray that He may be willing to ride out before the people on such an unworthy instrument as I.
It is utterly necessary that we know this God, this One that John wrote about, this One that the poet speaks about, this One that theology talks about, and this One that we’re sent to preach and teach about. It is absolutely, utterly and critically necessary that we know this One, for you see, man fell when he lost his right concept of God.
As long as man trusted God everything was all right; human beings were healthy and holy (or at least innocent), and pure and good. But then the devil came along and threw a question mark into the mind of the woman: “And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said…?” (Genesis 3:1). This was equivalent to sneaking around behind God’s back and casting doubt on the goodness of God. And then began the progressive degeneration downward.
When the knowledge of God began to go out of the minds of men, we got into the fix that we’re in now:
The first chapter of Romans ends with a terrible charge of unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness and all the long, black list of crimes and sins that man has been guilty of. All that came about because man lost his confidence in God. He didnt know God’s character. He didnt know what kind of God God was. He got all mixed up about what God was like. Now the only way back is to have restored confidence in God. And the only way to have restored confidence in God is to have restored knowledge of God.
I began with the text, “And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee” (Psalm 9:10) The word “name” means character, plus reputation. “And they that know what kind of God thou art will put their trust in thee.” We wonder why we dont have faith; the answer is, faith is confidence in the character of God and if we dont know what kind God God is, we cant have faith.
Much much much has happened just in the last two months. My thought process of it has as well been very slow. Recently there has been such an amazing increase that the Lord has sent almost like a kiss from heaven. The journey of this increase has become glorious, overwhelming, has meant some sleepless nights, much laughter, the joy of new acquaintances and so much more.
In all this, I have come to see how the Lord has been preparing us many months ago for what was to come. Months back when the state of being hidden was easy due to no one else being in the room and how I ached and desired for that not to be so. Not for myself but for the simple fact that I had come to know this Man in a whole new way that revealed an endless river to be enjoyed and I was falling for this Man more and more and wanted others to encounter Him. How I desired to scream out at times,
“Daughters of Jerusalem, have you known my Beloved! He is fairer than the sons of man, chief among ten thousand, there is NONE like Him or ever will be! Among all the trees in the woods, my Beloved is like an apple tree in the midst of them. Come and see! Come and meet Him! Come away with Him and set Him as a seal upon your arm, upon your heart! For His love is stronger than death!”
Now here we are and that season of being hidden seems to be fading; growing dim and with much joy, it fills my heart but I feel the ache to “Come Away”…
How easy it is to get draw away from Him out of a genuine heart who desires others to know and encounter Him. How easy it is even when in a good place, a right place in our hearts we work work work…work work work to organize, and situate, and gather, and produce and guide and…
So much…so easy for ones mind to become so cluttered that the soft faint lovesick whisper of the One who desires us to be with Him where He is beckons us to look back at Him.
There is so much to who this Man is. Knowing Him, searching out His thoughts and heart and interests, emotions is the journey. The adventure. The quest. The treasure hunt. More precious than rubies or precious stones, is being captivated, fascinated by Jesus Christ. I need to know Jesus. I want to know Him. How nothing else compares to gazing…set gaze everyday, the journey…to set my gaze; my full attention and affections, everything I am, everything I have and yet…
Its so easy to set Him aside, it’s so easy to think we’re putting first in first place, today. Tomorrow will worry about itself (Matthew 6:34) Am I putting first in first place today? Its a good question that like a marriage, we get into that familiar stage where I can feel as though, “Yea! I was with him yesterday and the day before that and I’ll be with him tomorrow and we’ll talk about that or do that together tomorrow.”
And so many times tomorrow’s come and go and next thing we know, a week has gone by and we’ve barely ran by one another; a glance, a half smile. I remember to say hello mid-day and run with the excuse that I’m prepping something nice for Him but the time spent is limited. Its easier this way honestly. The running, the doing. It’s far easier than, stopping… dropping everything (this is where faith must come in that He will get it done, not us in our own strength) …sit at the dinner table face to face. Take a deep breath…and start the conversation.
Start the conversation…the simple…”So, how was your day? …How are you today?…what have You been thinking about today…”
Then the silence….in the waiting…for Him to actually get a word in and speak…He’s been waiting all day for this, maybe even longer.
Everything about Jesus is glorious.
Why wouldn’t I want to spend my every second of everyday waiting to hear what HE has to say. The Man of Glory wants to have a conversation. The Majesty of Heaven, the Father of Glory wants to have a conversation with us.
Nothing else matters. All else is added unto us…
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:33-34
Nothing else matters…I want to know this Man, this God. I need to know Him.
GIVE US EYES TO SEE & EARS TO HEAR…
“So what do you do for a living? You go to school? Work?”
“yea, I’m a prayer missionary at a House of Prayer?”
“huh? But you live in Florida?”
“yes, I’m a missionary for this nation and state. I pray…that’s my job…”
::confused look during awkward silence:: cue in the crickets…
I find myself this morning sitting in the prayer room, so thankful to my Beautiful, Kind, Merciful, Soveriegn God for creating is for encounter with Him. I love my job and though many do not understand it, I stand in awe of how such a seemingly simple life brings such fulfillment. So much in this world tries to out glam God. So much we’re surrounded by tries to steal our attention, affections, fascination. Sitting in a sometimes empty room, something half full room, listening to heart moved love songs to Him, inquiring of His word, and then it happens… feel the whisper of His love that overcomes me and nothing else matters but to stay in that moment with Him forever…
I stumbled on a blog entry that I appreciated much; describing what is an “Intercessory Missionary”? Thats a very common question I get from people.
The gentlemans name is Joshua Hawkins. Check out this blog entry.
Here are some quotes from the blog to catch your curiosity perhaps:
An intercessory missionary is a “missionary“ in the sense that they dedicate their lives in ministry for Jesus and for others like a traditional missionary does. But rather than exclusively serving through mercy deeds, their service is first and primarily through ministry to Jesus in night and day worship and prayer. The motivation and biblical support for an intercessory missionary comes from various passages, including:
- The story of Mary of Bethany inMatthew 26:6-13, who saw the true worth of Jesus, and where Jesus linked her example of extravagant devotion to the preaching of the gospel
- The preeminence of Christ in all things fromColossians 1:18, where the ultimate goal of the Father is that Jesus might be seen as supreme in all things
- The words of Jesus inLuke 18:1-8, where Jesus exhorts the righteous to cry out in prayer day and night for faith in an ultimate and lasting justice to be established at the second coming of Jesus
- The exhortation of Jesus inMatthew 9:37-38, saying “pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers” for witnesses to be raised up proclaiming the Day of the LORD, the restoration of all things, and the coming kingdom of God
- Inspiration from Anna inLuke 2:36-38, where she fasted and prayed in the temple day and night for decades unto the first coming of Christ
- The ministry of John the Baptist as a messenger of repentance and bold proclaimer of the Day of the Lord
The practical outworking of a traditional missionary flows from the place of night and day ministry unto the Lord. These are the “good works that we were created for” (Ephesians 2:10), including hands-on service to others, feeding the poor, and aiding the widow and orphan – works that show forth the compassion of Jesus and help others put their hope completely in His return.
“Not only has God made the accomplishment of his global purposes of salvation hang on the preaching of the Word; he has also made the success of the preaching of the Word hang on prayer. God’s goal to be glorified in a world full of white-hot worshippers from every people and tongue and tribe and nation will not succeed without the powerful proclamation of the gospel by people like you and me. And that gospel will not be proclaimed in power to all the nations without the persevering, earnest, global, faith-filled prayers of God’s people. This is the awesome place of prayer in the purposes of God for the world. They won’t happen without prayer.” – Prayer: The work of missions – John Piper, 1988
So the question is: How can we endure? How can we be found with faith and love? How can we avoid being like Lot’s wife and like those who are left in judgment? So Jesus tells a parable to give the answer. And it is one of the few parables which he interprets for us lest we miss the point. Luke 18:1tells us the point of the parable: “And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” Jesus’ answer to the question how to endure to the end is, Pray! Pray! Pray! And don’t grow weary of praying.” – Always Pray and Do Not Lose Heart – John Piper
The ultimate reason for night and day prayer – the worth of Jesus
Right now, the prayer ministry across the earth is weak, but the Lord is strengthening it in ways we have never seen before in history. I firmly believe that the expression of prayer in the church across the world will move from the one-hour prayer meeting on a Wednesday night in the pastor’s basement to the forefront of the hearts and minds of everyone in the body of Christ.
Even though we would all agree that the prayer ministry is very important and necessary, prayer is for much more than “getting from God what we need”, because He knows our needs before we even ask Him. Prayer does not force God’s hand to do anything, nor is prayer a “formula” to obtain God’s power for self-exaltation and pride. Prayer is about a humble interaction, dialog, and relationship. When God answers prayer and gives us foretastes of the age to come when He will reign in righteousness, His glory is magnified and it exhilarates us. Being connected at the heart level with God and seeing His answers to our prayers causes us to devote ourselves to Him in a greater way and proclaim His word and His return with boldness. Intimacy and relationship with God is the primary reason that the church will always be engaged in prayer, because relationship with His people is what He has longed for from the beginning.
Definitely check out the rest of his blog. Well written. Couldnt say better myself, hence I didn’t try and left it to him. ::wink::
It’s an interesting concept…keeping momentum. I accidentally ran into this image while brainstorming for this blog and thought instantly; “Yes! Perfect!” I love the large blue sky. I feel as though I can almost breath in the crisp air! I look at this and think it’s slightly cool for some reason; the weather.
Anyway the concept of keeping momentum…it relates to how we walk out, work out the Faith. We get zeal during an event that may stir our insides, emotions and then what? It’s typically spoken about how after a conference or event that touched your spirit and brought a fire in your bones, somehow slowly dwindles as day 2 after the event…day 4…day 5 comes along. What happened? “O yea, that was a cool weekend” then life as usual creeps in again and all the promises and vows and zeal to move forward for some reason, even with our genuine hearts goes away till the next event comes.
As I shared in the previous blog entry, the weekend of the EGW conference for me was a “resign up” of sorts. It was that whole, “Yes! I’m not alone in this! I remember why I’m fighting for this dream in His heart! I cant loose heart! Others are with us and ultimately, He is with us! …ok…I can do this again”
So I embarked on a journey the following week hoping for change. It was interesting cause I never made any set plans on what that would look like but I found myself not watching hours and hours of Television when I came home exhausted from work and put the prayer room or played some Misty Edwards “Relentless” in the background (which I just finally bought!).
What was more interesting was the fight. After such a high, you think, “I got it! Here we go!” But what I found was still my flesh raging even more wanting apathy. Over a week of not giving into my distracted outlets and yet how discouragement wanted to creep in as well as accusation. Then perhaps one of the suckiest (yes, yes it’s not a word, I know) weekends in a long time came along and my pea brain was dumfounded. “But I had such an intentional God-focused week” I thought and wrestled.
“See how you gave up your idle time but you had a more difficult time than you’ve had in a long time? You’ve had better weekends, better worship sets when you’ve just done what you’ve done before.” (Now listen to this mother of all conniving lies)
“Perhaps spending your week as you have, with occasional distraction, and leisure gives you better perspective of your depravity and helps your lean better on the Lord” -What a genius lie!
So I actually entertained that thought for a bit and went back to my days as usual. Not making the extra efforts the Holy Spirit had been beckoning for me to make since I’m always singing and telling Him I want to be closer to Him. (Which is really His genius way of moving my heart to make me think it was my genius idea to want more of Him! ::wink:: )
Apparently, she had been reading lately on David Brainerd and had some nice wise insight of truth to share with me .
TIME OUT: side note: I love how the Lord does that. The people in your inner circle, closest to you; how He directs our lives to be there for one another, when ones up and the others down and how life circumstances mirror momentary circumstances to help the other.
So she says -paraphrasing, “You’re dark and wicked inside honey. So what! You gave up distractions like T.V. for a week. You’ve had years of these lesser pleasures and habits as a part of your life, it’s going to take more than a week after an awesome weekend to detox yourself from it all. What is better? Going back to it all and not going deeper cause you didnt FEEL something or that you gave up some things as an act of obedience to the Lord, whether you feel something later or not?”
At first in my mind and then aloud I said “Of course, yea, I know.” and changed the topic back to the point I was making previously. ::chuckle to myself cause I know He was giving me that loving grin cause I knew better::
Jeremy Johnson at our first EGW said how God looks down at us so affectionately sometimes and says “Aw my little pea brain…” Its so true and that stayed with me.
So the next day funny enough I met with a friend and was giving her advise and what do you think comes popping out of my mouth, the story and the same advise my best friend helped remind and teach me the night before.
I was so quick to think I “earned” something from that week of devotion. I was so quick to get discouraged and listen to the nonsense lies of my enemy and I was quick to forget that yes He calls me “lovely” but I am DARK! (Song of Solomon 1:5) I used to hate this part of a song when I was in my internship in Kansas City house of prayer.
I would raise my hands as my heart was tender until…
“You owe me nothing…(I stayed silent not repeating next line) You owe me nothing but You’ve given me mercy…”
It goes “You owe me nothing, I deserve hell…you owe me nothing but You’ve given me mercy”
That “I deserve hell” part REALLY bothered me. It made me mad in fact. I was saying to myself and the Lord, “I don’t deserve hell! Not anymore, I have You, I’m Yours! This is wrong!”
I didnt understand it at first cause no one ever taught it. The truth about our darkness. John says we love darkness rather than light. (John 3:19) Yes we put away the old man but we are still flesh and wicked minded and weak-this is part of the beauty of His love and sacrifice. We are to be poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3) cause we ARE poor in spirit and will struggle with reflecting His image till the day we’re face to face with Him! I never knew this. I also never read my Bible before. (years in ministry before my life changed after my encounter for 3 years in Kansas City)
It’s remembering that it’s about making a choice everyday. To God, with friendships, with my future spouse-every relationship reflects this. Choice dignifies Love (borrowed the phrase) and everyday it’s making a choice, choosing to say Yes, right now this moment. We’re too fickle to say a committed vow once and forever keep it. Everyday, every moment of the day we remember, saying, “I messed up in loving You in the past and I’ll probably mess up again but I wont dwell on that. Right here right now, how can I say Yes to loving You?”
It’s an action, it’s selfless, its a choice. The feeling is a gift and a curse. Our emotions are deceptive, and fleeting. We are flesh. But our spirit is in constant yearning in connection to God. Even if I dont feel it, I choose to love You. In choice and action…
Keeping the Momentum…
It’s a fight! It’s a battleground! It’s fighting our natural resistance to being still. Waiting.
Someone dear to me emailed this today: (here’s a snippet)
Wait on the Lord -Psalm 27:14
“It may seem an easy thing to wait, but it is one of the postures that a Christian soldier cannot learn without years of teaching. Marching and quick-marching are much easier for God’s warriors than standing still. There are hours of perplexity when the most willing spirit, anxiously desiring to serve the Lord, does not know what role to play. Then what shall it do? Vex itself by despair? Retreat back in cowardice, turn to the right hand in fear, or rush forward in presumption? No, simply wait. Wait in prayer, however. Call upon God, and spread the matter before Him; tell Him your difficulty, and plead His promise of help.”
He is so gracious! So what does that look like? Go into your secret place (whatever that looks like) sit down focused and talk to Him. Genuinely talk to Him and then wait…listen…read about Him, then talk some more, then wait some more…
Now here’s the clincher…do this everyday…It’s hard cause we like being entertained. We’re selfish really, just own up to it already. We are! I lived my life for 4 years sitting in the place of prayer-His house and praying (loving on Him in my worship, my words and actions, letting Him delight in me and talking to Him, asking Him things about Him and my friends and family…ect) and I struggle with being still and praying…
This lifetime on earth right now is one big internship as Mike Bickle says. There’s no rush. It’s a marathon not a sprint.
This blog can go on forever so I’ll stop now. So yea…keeping the momentum…Grace to us all with this in Jesus name, amen!