Wednesday, September 30, 2015


"As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Joshua 1:5b). 

A black hole is a place of total nothingness. It's a time in our life when God removes the resources and supports that we normally rely on to feel secure - our careers, finances, friends, family, health and so forth. It is a preparation time.
When you find yourself in a black hole experience, don't just sit and brood. Take stock of your life. Take a look at your relationship with God.
First, ask God if there are any sins, habits, or attitudes that He might be judging in your life. It's important to discern whether the trial we face is the result of God's discipline for our sin?or if it is preparing us for a future leadership role.
Second, when you enter a black hole, don't trust your feelings. Trust God. Your feelings will tell you, "God has rejected you. Abandon hope. He has left you utterly alone." Feelings change; God never changes. Feelings come and go; God is always with us.
Third, remember that your black hole experience is not only intended to refine and define you; it's also intended to influence and change the lives of hundreds or even thousands of other people. Our adversity is not just for us, but others in our sphere of influence.
Fourth, don't try to hurry the black hole process along. Remember, when Joseph was in the depths of the pit, there was nothing he could do about it. He couldn't climb out, jump out, levitate out, or talk his way out. All he could do was pray and wait upon the Lord.
Fifth, lean on God. Even when you don't feel like praying, pray. Even when you don't feel like reading His Word, read. Even when you don't feel like singing songs of faith, sing. When you pray, don't just talk; listen. Be silent before Him and listen for His still, quiet voice.
Sixth, be alert to new truths and new perspectives. During a black hole experience, God often leads us to amazing new discoveries. A black hole can be a storehouse of unexpected riches for the soul.

Monday, September 28, 2015


"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" 1 John 3:1a

I want to share with you a conversation that happened between a man and his wife.
"I have an important business meeting in the morning. Would you please set the alarm for 5:30 a.m.?" he said to his wife.
"Oh, that won't be necessary. Just tell the Lord what time you want to wake up. He does it for me all the time," his wife said.
He rolled his eyes in disbelief. "Well, I'd feel more comfortable if we set the alarm."
"Okay, ye of little faith. But just to prove my point I am going to ask the Lord to wake us up just before 5:30."
The next morning he awoke before the alarm went off. He looked at the clock. It read 5:15. He looked at his wife, who had just awakened at the same time with an I-told-you-so smile.
Sometimes we wrongfully view God as someone we go to for only the "big things." The idea of "bothering God" for such a trivial matter seems foolish and presumptuous. However, when you were a child and had to get up in the morning for school, didn't your mom or dad come wake you up? They were your parents, and you could come to them with the most trivial concerns or requests. Why would our heavenly Father be any less approachable? Perhaps our problem is that we simply have not developed a level of intimacy with God so that we feel the freedom to approach Him at these daily, routine levels. We often operate with an unwritten code that says our needs must have a certain degree of importance or crisis before we come to God with them. This is not God's character towards us.
Does the Lord desire this level of intimacy with you and me? The apostle Paul exhorted us to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thess. 5:17 KJV). There is never a caution to pray only about matters of greater importance.
Today, go to God with matters that you might view as trivial and would normally avoid bringing to God. Ask God to increase your level of intimacy with Him. You may even be able to get rid of your alarm clock.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


"Then the angel of the LORD ordered Gad to tell David to go up and build an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. So David went up in obedience to the word that Gad had spoken in the name of the LORD" (1 Chron 21:18-19).

In 1857, an American businessman named Jeremiah Lanphier was sent out by his local church to begin a noon-day prayer meeting on Fulton Street, right around the corner from Wall Street in New York City. A simple prayer, a willing heart, and an act of obedience resulted in city transformation throughout the United States.
However, at that very first meeting, no one showed up in the first 35 minutes. But Jeremiah waited. Gradually, six people wandered into the room at 35 minutes past the hour. Six months later, 10,000 people were meeting for prayer throughout New York City. This led to one of the greatest spiritual renewals in the United State's history.
What would have happened if Lanphier had decided to abandon the idea after 30 minutes?
In a small, darkened room, in the back of one of New York City's lesser churches, a man prayed alone. His request of God was simple, but earth-shattering: "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" He was a man approaching midlife, without a wife or family, but he had financial means. He had made a decision to reject the "success syndrome" that drove the city's businessmen and bankers. God used this businessman to turn New York City's commercial empire on its head. He began a businessmen's prayer meeting on September 23, 1857.
The meetings began slowly, but within a few months 20 noonday meetings were convening daily throughout the city. Thousands met to pray because one man stepped out. This was an extraordinary move of God through one man.*
It only takes one man or woman who is willing to be obedient to be used by God to impact a workplace, city, or even an entire nation. Simple obedience can lead to things you cannot imagine. Are you willing to be used by God?

Monday, September 21, 2015


"As for the donkeys you lost three days ago, do not worry about them; they have been found. And to whom is all the desire of Israel turned, if not to you and all your father's family?" 1 Samuel 9:20

Saul and his servant were out seeking his father's lost donkeys. This was symbolic of the waywardness of the nation of Israel. The people of Israel had just asked the prophet Samuel to have a king rule over them. This saddened God greatly, yet God granted their request.
Saul and his servant heard of a man of God named Samuel. "Perhaps this man of God can tell us where to find our donkeys," said the servant. Isn't that just like us? We seek God to solve the issues related to material life. Saul was about to receive the greatest opportunity of his lifetime. He was about to be crowned as king of Israel. His life would never be the same. What was he concerned about? His donkeys. We don't have to be worried about the material things of life if we are about the things He's called us to do.
God called Saul to be the next king in order to free the people from the Philistines. God sent a messenger, the prophet Samuel, to inform him of his new career. The messenger also had to ease his mind about his donkeys. Donkeys often represent commerce in the Bible. They were the primary means of transporting goods; therefore, in essence, what was Samuel saying to Saul? He was saying, "You don't need to worry about your business if you respond to the call of God on your life. All the material things will take care of themselves."
Jesus said the same thing to the disciples years later. "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Mt. 6:33).
When God calls us, it often involves making major adjustments in our lives. Saul went from one kind of business to another. He went from working for his father to being a king. What changes is God calling you to make today in order to join Him in His work?

Friday, September 18, 2015


"Also our enemies said, 'Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work'" (Neh 4:11).

I opened the letter from the attorney and began to read the contents. The more I read, the sicker my stomach felt. I could not believe the words I was reading. I literally felt sick with fear. Perhaps you've had a similar experience. Maybe you got news that you've got cancer. Or someone has had an accident. Or you are being sued.
Nehemiah was rebuilding the wall in Jerusalem. The going was tough. As if things were not tough enough, he got a letter from another corrupt government official threatening to kill anyone involved in rebuilding the wall.
"But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the men of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem's walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat (Neh 4:7-9 emphasis mine).
There is but one response we should have to bad news. Pray to our God and take the necessary steps to defend ourselves against the threat. This was Nehemiah's response.
Once you begin to take these actions avoid projecting what might happen to you in the future. This is a sure-fire first step toward depression. Ask God's grace for one day at a time only.
"Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?" (Luke 12:24-26).
Turn your bad news over to the Lord. He specializes in turning crises into opportunities.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9-10).

Victoria grew up like many middle income families. She loved school and was even the in her homecoming court all four years in high school. After some tragic family deaths during her teen years, she began to experiment with alcohol and drugs. She was raped, underwent multiple abortions, and began working as a dancer at local nude dancing club, which she continued for more than four years.
After suffering nosebleeds from her cocaine addition, Victoria became very involved with the new age movement, nearly had a nervous breakdown, and eventually became suicidal. By the age of 28 she was homeless, stranded and fired from her job as a strip-club dancer. Barely 100 pounds, she was no longer profitable to the industry. Then a Christian gave her a Bible. The first book she read was Job and something gripped her heart. A church family took her into their home. They surrounded her with love and pointed her to who she was in Christ. Victoria says, "Jesus is the only healer of deep, deep wounds."
Now, years later, Victoria's compassionate heart is focused on reaching other lives on the brink of life or death. She founded a ministry called Victoria's Friends, which goes into the heart of the darkest places of the city in the strip clubs. Trained women ministry volunteers bring baskets to the dancers in their dressing rooms with no motive other than to show they care. Men stay outside the clubs and pray for the women going inside. It is the ultimate rescue mission. It is the love of Christ expressed in a simple, but powerful way. This act translates into relationships that are formed between those who continue to show their love for them.
Hundreds of young women have come out of this lifestyle because one woman decided to do what others had done for her - rescue her from the pit of darkness.
What type of rescue mission might God call you to lead?