Friday, May 27, 2016


"Surely you have heard about the administration of God's grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly." - Ephesians 3:2-3

Os Hillman shared this; "My wife and I had a very unusual courtship with many serendipitous moments that God used to confirm our relationship. When we were engaged to be married, she went to a wedding shower given by many of her friends in a town where she used to live. One of her friends was known for her intercessory prayer life.
When my wife arrived at the shower, her friend apologetically handed her a gift bag and said, "I have an unusual gift in there for your husband. I don't know why I felt led to buy it for him. My husband thinks I'm crazy for giving such a gift as a wedding present, but I was so impressed to buy this for him. Here it is."
My wife looked in the bag and pulled out a furry creature. When she saw what it was, she burst out laughing! It was a beanie baby named "Ostrich."
"How did you know?" exclaimed my wife.
"Know what?" asked her friend.
"My pet name for Os is 'Ostrich'!"
They both were amazed at God's sense of humor.
Sometimes we do not believe God can speak through others to encourage, and even humor us in miraculous ways. God wants to demonstrate His loving, and even light humor, in His relationship with us. Develop your intimacy with God and experience Him in the very intimate aspects of your life.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds" (2 Cor 10:3-5). 

Jerry had grown up with a father who was a successful workaholic. Although he lacked for nothing materially, he never sensed much warmth or compassion from his parents. Then, when Jerry was still in his early teens, his father died very suddenly. His large family was left with little support, and insecurity and fear became the dominating factors in the young man's life. Vowing to himself that he would never lack financial need again, Jerry worked hard at his business. A stronghold of idolatry brought reliance on the wealth he had accumulated rather than a prayerful dependency on God.
Arguments over money dominated his marriage. Distrust and greed permeated his home and business relationships. No one could "stand in his face" and tell him what to do. Finally, as his marriage disintegrated and his business gave signs of going under, Jerry renounced the strongholds of insecurity and fear that had made money his idol and had shaped his disbelieving view of God's ability to meet his need.
As the Holy Spirit brought conviction of the sins he had committed against so many people, he purposed to approach each one to seek forgiveness and make restitution wherever appropriate. His priorities shifted to God and family, then to close friends and business. God began to restore balance and intimacy with God and others as a result.
God created human beings with seven primary needs as represented in Genesis 1&2. Each of us has a need for:
1. Dignity
2. Authority
3. Blessing & Provision
4. Security
5. Purpose & Meaning
6. Freedom & Boundary
7. Intimate Love & Companionship
Whenever we seek to meet one or more of these basic needs outside God's design we have set the stage for the development of a generational stronghold. As in the case of Jerry, who in this case is the author, he needed to discover the needs he was attempting to meet through a demonic stronghold of insecurity and fear.
Generational strongholds can impact our relationship with God and others. Today, why not begin to investigate root issues that may be impacting you or your family.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


"So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak." - Genesis 32:24

All that Jacob had lived for was coming down to one event - his reunion with Esau. More than 20 years had passed since Jacob had manipulated his father's blessing away from his brother Esau. During these years God had been changing Jacob from a controller and manipulator to a man who was learning to trust God. He was now ready to meet Esau. However, he was fearful that Esau might take revenge on him and his family for his past sin, so he sent a gift ahead, while he retreated and sought mercy from God.
As an angel appeared to Jacob, he realized the only hope he had was in God. Only if God blessed him would he survive this ordeal. In the past, Jacob would have sought to solve his problem his way. Now, he wanted only God's way. He wanted Him so badly that he wouldn't let go of the angel. He was striving with God, but it was the right kind of striving. Jacob was striving to have all God's blessing on his life. He was seeking God with all that he had. "When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man" (Gen. 32:25). The only way to overcome the strong will of this man was to physically immobilize him. The angel touched the socket of Jacob's hip. It was painful; it broke him. This was the final stage of removing the old nature from Jacob. It was the place of complete brokenness and surrender. No longer would Jacob walk in his own strength. He would now have to lean on a cane, symbolic of his leaning on God alone.
It was the final act from God in Jacob's life that was celebrated with a new name - Israel. No longer would he strive with God or man. The process was now complete. God could now bless this man abundantly. He gave him favor with Esau and restored their broken relationship.
What does God have to do in our lives to remove the controlling and manipulative nature that so often is part of a workplace believer's life? Perhaps it will require a time of immobilizing, loss of a job, loss of income, loss of health, loss of a close relationship. These are His methods of preparation. Your new nature will not be complete until you've stopped striving with God through your own self-efforts. If God is taking you through this process, be encouraged; it is because of the inheritance He has prepared for you. However, the inheritance can only be received when God brings us to total dependence on Him.

Friday, May 20, 2016


"All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader. About four hundred men were with him." - 1 Samuel 22:2

Have you ever felt that you could accomplish a whole lot more if you had more talented people around you? Perhaps you are in an office and think that some of your fellow workers don't quite measure up. Imagine what David must have thought in the years following his anointing by the prophet Samuel as the next king of Israel. He spent the next many years running from King Saul. Now God was beginning to bring men to support David. But what kind of men? The down-and-out. God gave David not the elite or the sophisticated; He gave him those who were in debt and discontented with life. David turned those men into the best fighting men of their day. In fact, David never lost a battle during his entire reign as king of Israel-quite a feat for a bunch of no-name, lowlifes! Some of those men became an elite group known as David's Mighty Men. These were the elite of the elite, the Navy Seals, the Few Good Men, the Green Berets. Whatever you call them, they were exceptional warriors.
Jesus took a few men who weren't exactly the cream of the crop either. He built His life into these men, which resulted in 12 men who turned the world upside down. Are you one of God's mighty men or women? Are you investing your life to build other mighty men or women? David and Jesus set the example of what can be done when we invest in others. God does extraordinary things through men who have an extraordinary God. Ask God to use your life to be a mighty man or woman for a cause greater than yourself. He delights in such prayers.

Thursday, May 19, 2016


"Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle" (Psalm 144:1)

You'll never experience God in powerful ways by acquiring Bible knowledge alone. It is only when that knowledge is used in the heat of battle that you will know the reality of what you've learned intellectually. Otherwise, it remains only an exercise in spiritual gymnastics that yields little fruit.
David became a great warrior and leader of a nation at an early age. His training ground was his job as a shepherd in the open fields. When bears and lions sought to take his sheep, he personally fought them. This was his early preparation for future battles. Goliath was the real competition amongst a discerning audience to reveal how well his training prepared him.
Today, our local churches often look more like luxury cruise liners designed to tickle the ears, entertain its members and make them feel good instead of a battleship designed to train an army for war. The average member still watches from the sideline.
In sports you discover how well you handle pressure by competing. You can practice all you want but never know how you will do until you enter the game and test what you've learned and practiced when there is pressure added to the equation. In battle you discover how well you are trained by what you actually do on the battlefield.
Have you ever prayed with someone in public? Have you ever personally led someone to Christ? Have you ever served others for the sake of the Gospel? Have you ever taught a Bible study? If you said no to these questions, you are not engaged in the game. Today, why not ask God to give you the grace to step onto the battlefield.