Are you objecting to your miracle?

There is a story in 2 Kings 4 about a woman who is considered in the Bible as a “great” woman or a “well-to-do” woman. She opened her home up to Elisha anytime he comes to town. This woman actually prepared a room for him in her home and cooked meals for him. One day Elisha called her to him because he realized how much she had done for him, and he wanted to do something for her. He wanted to bless her life in some way. The Bible tells us that Elisha was resting on his bed in her home thinking about ways to help her and in verse 13 he asks, “You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you? Can we speak on your behalf to the king or the commander of the army?” Her answer to him is very straight forward. She tells him she is fine, and she doesn’t ask him for anything.

But Elisha doesn’t let the issue drop. He wants something more for her, and he inquires with a servant to see if there is a need or desire. The servant tells him that the woman has wanted a child for a long time but has not been able to have one. Elisha instructs the servant to call her to him again, and as she stands in the doorway of his room he tells her, “’About this time next year,’ Elisha said, ‘you will hold a son in your arms.’

‘No, my lord!’ she objected. ‘Please, man of God, don’t mislead your servant!’”

Interestingly, she knows Elisha is a man of God, and a great prophet. She heard of the miracles he has performed. It is obvious because she has gone out of her way to provide and give to him a place to stay and food. Not that she wanted anything from him in return, but because she respected who he was. Here he is offering to give to her what she desires but she objects. It is easy to read between the lines of her objection. She has probably longed for a child for so long; prayed for a child; thought and dreamed of having a child; and maybe after all this time, she just can’t take the disappointment – not again. Instead of believing what Elisha said, she puts up her guard and refuses to accept it. She objects to God’s blessing because she doesn’t want to believe in the possibility.

I wonder how many of you can relate to her pain. I know I can. How many of you have hoped and prayed and longed for your break-through miracle and it just hasn’t come. Maybe you are objecting too.

But do you know, even when we do not have the strength to believe in the possibility, God wants to bless us anyway? You and I may give up, but God doesn’t.  God knows our desires; He knows our dreams; He knows our hopes. Even though we don’t want to go there anymore; we don’t want to be disappointed; we don’t want to stick our heart out one more time; God says, “Do it anyways! Objection overruled!”

2 Kings 4:17, “But the woman became pregnant, and the next year about that same time she gave birth to a son, just as Elisha had told her.”

You may be waiting on an answer even now from God or you may have given up on ever having what you long to have. Maybe its a baby; or restoration of marriage; or a spouse; or an education; or healing. Whatever it is, don’t give up. Don’t quit. Don’t object to the blessing because you don’t want to believe in it. When we do for God, He will bless us in ways we could never imagine.

Your miracle is coming.

The Unexpected

The unexpected. There is no way to get around it. You’re running late for work – the car doesn’t start. You have family photos in the morning – your four-year-old cuts all her hair off. The phone call comes in the middle of the night – a loved one is sick. Your boss calls you in his office – you lose your job. You visit the doctor thinking your health is good – you learn about cancer. The unexpected, lurking, slithering across the floor, pouncing when you are not looking times.

Life is a journey of twist and turns and blind drive. Not too long ago, an unexpected happened in my life, and I found myself on a plane leaving the country. How do you handle when life throws a curve ball?

John 16:12, “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you…”

The unexpected leaves us guessing where to take the next step; but He will guide you.For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” – Ephesians 6:12.

There are times when our ‘unexpected’ is a spiritual attack against us. We need to understand the rules of engagement. See, God does not want us to be troubled. We hold an incredible weapon – prayer and God’s word. It is not about what is happening to you that concerns God; it’s what’s happening in you and how you respond.

Three things to remember when the unexpected hits your life:

1. Thank God that He is with you. Praise Him that the solution is on its way or that He will give you grace to endure. Know God is not surprised by the unexpected; He’s many steps ahead; He will see you through it.

2. Use your authority. The blood of Jesus Christ gives you the privilege to petition God to deliver you. Exercise your faith. Push those doubts aside. Walk boldly, knowing you carry the sword of the Spirit – His Word.

3. Use your weapons. Isaiah 54:17, “No weapon forged against you will prevail.” You have insight and discernment through the power of the Holy Spirit – use it.

1 John 4:4 tells us that with Jesus, living in us, we are greater than any power at work in this world.  Don’t let your unexpecteds throw you off-balance. Fight the good fight of faith. Don’t give up and don’t give in.

A Different Form of Peace

When I was a little boy, one of my buddies used to tell us about “The Peacemaker” in his home. It was a long wooden paddle which hung by the back door. His dad had no problem pointing it out to any one of us that came by to play. If we didn’t want to keep peace in his home, he had the answer. Once, when my buddy and I disobeyed his mom, I experienced “The Peacemaker” first hand.

Colossians 3:15, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

We are called to be peacemakers by Christ. We are called to get along and keep peace with one another; however, in this scripture, He is talking to us about the peace that rules our hearts. Sometimes peace isn’t about conflict with others. Sometimes peace is conflict with ourselves to do or not to do something; to say or not to say something; to move or not to move in a certain direction. It’d be almost easier if we could take a paddle and spank ourselves into a decision like my buddy’s mom did for him. The Peacemaker could make up your mind pretty quick!

God gives us a different form of peace. It is a settling within our spirit that tells us everything is going to be OK. It is a gentleness that overcomes us when we need the assurance we’re walking in the right direction. It comes from within and although it is difficult to understand, we know when we feel it, it is from God.

Take the decisions of your life to God. Wait for the peace to flow over you. Give God time to answer your questions. Give God time to give you peace.

Just Ask Him…

There are two scriptures I want to focus on today and they are very close to one another in scriptures. The reading comes from Matthew 3:17. Jesus has gone to John the Baptist and has asked him to baptize Him in the River Jordan. As soon as Jesus is baptized, the skies open up and the Spirit of God descends from heaven “like a dove” and lights on Jesus. Verse 17 says, “And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.'”

In the very next chapter of Matthew, Jesus is led by the Spirit into the desert for the purpose of being tempted by the devil. It doesn’t say, “He went into the desert to fast and pray and potentially be tempted; possibly be visited by the devil; or to be on the look-out for Satan; no, the Spirit, which just landed upon Him from Heaven and declared, “This is my SON…,” led Jesus into the desert to be tempted by the devil. Verse 3, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

Don’t you want to just stop right there and say, “What an idiot!” The Heaven’s just opened up and the Word of God declared, “This is my Son!” And the very first words of Satan to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God…” Talk about overlooking the obvious!

And yet, Satan uses the same lines day after day with you and me. How many of you are buying what he is saying?

Has God really given you power over me? Did God really say you would be healed? Does He really have your best interest in mind here? Are His plans really to prosper you? Will He really turn this situation for good? Do you really think He is in control of your life?

Blah, lah, lah, lah, lah…and yet we continue to fall for it.

It’s time for some of us to tell Satan to take a hike. Matthew 4:4 gives Jesus’ answer to Satan’s idiotic question, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”

I want to take my fist and shake it in the air and declare, “Satan, if God says it, I believe it. Take your doubt, your temptation, your chaos, and …”

The reality is, if Satan can use such on Jesus, how much more is he going to use on us. God sent Jesus there for a reason, to allow us to see how utterly ridiculous Satan’s arguments can be. God had just opened up the skies and announced, “Jesus is my Son! I love Him!” Can you get any clearer than that; and yet, Satan has the audacity to still question it? It’s pretty obvious in this example; but, know it is pretty obvious in your case and my case too. God’s Word is alive and well and true. If He says it, don’t let anything tell you differently.

The next time you hear that whisper in your mind, “Did God really say He’d take care of you? Are you really His child?” Answer with a resounding “Yes!” and go about doing the business God has for you.

I pray for clarity and wisdom for you today as you deal with others and with yourself. Know God has all the answers for you, He just needs you to ask Him.

God Isn’t in a Hurry

Psalm 37:7, “Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.”

1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

Romans 8: 16-17, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
Be still in His presence for you are a special possession of God’s. Make your mind like a still pool of water, waiting to hear from Him. Allow Him to interject His thoughts into yours. A crowded mind is too full to hear from our Father.

As you face today, know that God has already seen every detail of your day; He knows the struggles you will face; He knows the pressure you will be under; He knows the heart aches, the challenges, the obstacles, and even the joys. Because you are chosen to be His, He will take care of it – if you allow Him to do so. You are His heir – a co-heir with Christ.

Do not wear yourself down with worry, regret, fear, and anxiety. Can you cope under the pressure of the day? NO! Not by yourself. That’s why you desperately need God. With Him, not only can you cope under the pressure of the day, you will overcome the pressures of the day. See, God is on the winning team. If you are on God’s team, you are a winner.

Communicate with Him. Give Him control of your day. Remember, God isn’t in a hurry. He has always been here, and He will always be here. He is outside of time. Sometimes I think the more I push Him for an answer, the longer it takes to get one. He wants me to wait on Him and be still so that I hear what He needs me to do. When we get in a hurry; when we are overwhelmed with worry; we cannot hear God’s answers for us.

Take the time today to be still; to be available; to know you are His special possession and He has called you into His wonderful light.

Do Something

John 2:1-7, “On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

4 “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”

5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.”

I love the miracles of Jesus. Of all of them, this is probably my favorite because it says so much for us today. When Mary goes to Jesus with the dilemma, she instructs the servants to do whatever He tells them to do. Think about that for a moment. These are not Mary’s servants. They do not know who Jesus is or what He is capable of doing; and yet, their hearts are willing to do whatever He tells them to do.

There are some stone water jars nearby used by the Jews for ceremonial washing. These are not small jars when you consider they are capable of holding 20 to 30 gallons of water. That’s heavy. When He tells them to fill the stone jars with water, the servants filled them to the brim.

Some of you are looking for God to move in your life miraculously. Maybe you need healing or an answer to a financial problem or help with your children. Maybe your home is near foreclosure or in foreclosure. Maybe your business is going under or you need money for an education or you lost your job. Whatever the issue, whatever the need, are you filling your stone jars to the brim? When I think about these servants, I realize, Jesus didn’t tell them how much water to put in the stone jars. Some of you would probably only put 1/4 of the way full; some of you, only 1/2. But they went the extra mile and filled it to the brim.

I know I’m speaking to someone out there, God has asked you to do something very specific but you aren’t doing it. If the servants had not filled the stone jars with water, there wouldn’t be wine. Jesus needed them to do something so He would do something.

There have been times in my life when God has instructed me to do something and I really didn’t understand at all why He would asked me to do that; but I did it anyway. I filled my stone jars to the brim and received His blessing.

I want to encourage you today to listen to what God is instructing you to do. You can hear Him through prayer, the Bible, the peace within you, through others, or some other way. God is limitless. Do what He is telling you to do!

I recently visited a friend in the hospital. He told me God had been telling him to lose 50 pounds for over a year and he didn’t do it. Now he faced by-pass surgery and his physician told him if he didn’t lose 50 pounds he was going to die. Through tears he explained he knew God wanted him to do a particular thing for the Kingdom. We prayed together and as I left the hospital he asked me, “Do you think God will give me the chance this time to do what He asked me to do?”

Don’t miss your miracle because you are too stubborn or too frustrated or too unwilling or too whatever to fill your stone jars to the brim. Your miracle awaits. Don’t lose your chance.

Today Is Different

It’s Monday morning here in Northeast Georgia. I awoke in usual fashion. My bedroom looked the same; the coffee tasted the same; my wife was by my side; and yet, today should feel different. Yesterday, we celebrated the most significant day of the year – Easter Sunday – the day of our Risen Lord. My thoughts centered on the disciples.

As the news spread of the Resurrection, I wonder what the morning after was like. The reality of the moment must have been huge. The stone was rolled away and the body of Jesus was gone. I bet there wasn’t a person within miles who wasn’t talking about it. What about you?

As you busy yourself for work; fix breakfast; pick out your clothing; make up the beds; what are you talking about? Today, I want to talk about the greatest miracle of all times. Today, I want to walk with the knowledge of my Savior’s sacrifice for me, and what it means for my life and the lives of those around me. I don’t want to return to business as usual. I want this day to be different.

1 Corinthians 15:21-22, “For since death came through a man, so the resurrection of the dead comes through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”

Oswald Chambers, an early twentieth-century evangelist and teacher, best known as the author of the devotional My Utmost for His Highest, stated, “All of heaven is interested in the cross of Christ, hell is afraid of it, while men are the only ones to ignore its meaning.”

Today is the morning after Christ made it possible for us to be alive. Are we ignoring its significants? Did you wake up this morning relieved the holiday was over? Maybe you have a sink full of dishes to wash or because you took Friday off of work, your desk is covered in files. What does your morning after look like?

I challenge you to make this day different. Rejoice in the wonder of the day. Praise His name, for this morning as your feet hit the floor of your home, your very existence is tied up in what happened yesterday. Today IS different. As Billy Graham, an evangelist, explained it, “The entire plan for the future has its key in the resurrection.”

I challenge you to talk about the events of yesterday. Enjoy and relish the moment. The stone was rolled away. His body was not inside. Christ the Lord is Risen! He is Risen indeed!