Thursday, May 21, 2009

Something Stinks!

In John 11 there is a story about a man named Lazarus. He was a man that was a dear friend of Jesus, but one day he died. Jesus, hearing that he died, stalled. He took a few days just hanging out, knowing that his friend was dead. I have some personal issues with this text, but this is not about my need for therapy, there is a very important point buried in here that God wants you to get.

Verse 15- Jesus says I am glad I was not there when he died, so that you can believe. There are some things in our lives that have died. Important things, things that meant a lot to us. Our dreams, our passions, our direction. These things have died on purpose. I need to say that again. God has ALLOWED some things to die in our lives, so that we may believe.

We all have things that have died, we have buried them, walked away and stopped allowing ourselves to think what might have been. But then out of no where Jesus shows up and says that thing is not dead, it's just asleep and I am here to wake it back up in you. But many times our response is, "Jesus its been dead for a long time, now it just stinks". Jesus is saying to you today, "I am the resurrection and the life, he that is in me, thought he were dead, yet shall he live".

Today, you have some things that are dead, that stink, in your life; your finances, your dreams, your relationships. It is that very fact that attracts Jesus to your house. The reason that thing died is so He can walk in and restore your faith. What an amazing dichotomy, he let it die so that your faith can live!

So I ask you today, what's that smell? Something stinks!

Somebody needs to walk in their house today and declare "Something stinks!" (then apologize to your husband). Shake off the spirit of heaviness and fear, Jesus is on his way. He has been waiting for it to get good and ripe, so you would believe again.

Just a thought...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Friction -vs- Traction

I am reading a book by Erwin McManus called Unstoppable Force and he makes the distinction between friction and traction. The same issue, substance or obstacle that causes friction in our lives also gives us traction to overcome it. I think over some of the greatest obstacles in my life and have to say they have been just that, friction (pain, road-rash, etc...) and traction. The very things that I asked God to remove have been the platforms to get me to where I am today.

Had we not gone through the struggles we did pastoring our first church, The Sanctuary, we would never have joined the staff at New Life Christian Centre. Had we not joined that staff we would never have received the experience and training to see the amazing growth and momentum we are enjoying at The Bridge - Hot Springs today. It is easy to curse the darkness, but remember if it were not for the darkness you would never enjoy the light.

Two things I learned in the darkness that have kept me until daybreak:

1. Never let go of His hand. There is an old song, "When you can't see his face, trust his heart". I say, "When you can't see His face, hold on for dear life!" When Peter started to sink, Jesus reached out for him, or probably more accurate, Jesus reached out and Peter grabbed Him. The best place to be when you are sinking is holding on to the Rock.

2. Learn all you can. When it's darkest it seems like your other senses step up to compensate for the loss of sight, especially your hearing. When you are in the dark, listen carefully. John Maxwell says when you fall, pick something up while your down there. Don't be too quick to jump back up. Learn all you can. Listen to the Spirit, to mentors, to friends. The more you learn while you are there the better your chances are of not being there again.

Lastly, know you are not alone. Even though it is dark and you cannot see anyone around you, know there are many others in the dark with you. One commonality we all have is that we all find ourselves in the dark from time to time...