Category Archives: God’s Call

Do You Know Him?

This video is of Joe White speaking to the Promise Keepers in 2003. I share videos of him because his message is powerful and in my opinion his message matches what God’s word says. He, like me, believes that the Bible teaches something that many churches fail to. He teaches that faith is not cheap. No where can you find in Jesus work that He requires nothing of us for salvation. If you read what He says when speaking to the crowds and even to His own disciples, he requires much. Faith requires action. This is often difficult for Christians who have been taught that when you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord that you inherit salvation. But where people fail, and I was subject to this failure for so long, is that we do not really know what it means to confess and believe.

First, the word in the Bible from the New Testament for believe and believer is pisteuo. It was used 209 times and means to believe, put one’s faith in, trust, with an implication that actions based on that trust may follow. (Strongs, 4409, p.1583). When the Bible speaks on being a believer, this is the word that is used. (For more on this word click here).

It is a tragic misfortune that is in this country today. That most evangelism teaches that faith and belief and salvation is cheap and easy and costless. And so many of us in this arena has been sold a half deal. The road is come one way. God has given everything for us and so we’ve said God thank you for that, I’ll take that. But the road has never gone back to heaven. Where we turn it around and we say, God because you have given everything to me, by God’s grace I’m gonna give everything to you. It’s a two way road! That’s what belief is. And that’s what the thief had. Because that belief men, is a true, final, daily walk with the holy spirit and a daily walking relationship with Jesus Christ.

Men we don’t need another christian pep talk today. That will fire you up to go out and live a better life for the next three weeks of your life. What we need men is what our president pleaded for when he committed our brave troops to Iraq. We need cardiac revolution. We need a change of leadership in our heart. That’s the issue tonight men! It’s who’s in the lead in your heart. Who’s in the lead in your heart. That’s what belief is. That’s where faith resides. Romans 10:9-10 said if we confess with our mouth that Jesus is lord (Lord means that your submissive. Lord means that you come to him on your knees saying, Jesus I will follow you with my life) That’s what confession is Lord means. And it says if you believe in your heart…So many of us believe in our head. James 2:19 says the demons believe and tremble. It’s not about acknowledging that God died on the cross. It’s talking about faith in our heart that changes your life. The only way I know how to describe this incredible form of belief is the words of Bob Morehead. Actually an American pastor but the words found their way across the ocean into a little tiny hut apparently of a young Zimbabwe paster. And this Zimbabwe paster who had heard those words took his knife, just before he was overrun…just before he was martyred for his faith…this young committed pastor who understood what it means to be a believer. He took his knife and carved these words in the door of his little hut before he was overrun and martyred for his faith.

He said “I am a proud part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have the holy spirit’s power. The die has been cast. The decision has been made. I stepped across the line. I’m a disciple of his. I will not look back, let up, slow down, back up, or be still. I am done, I am finished with low living, side walking, smooth knees. Colorless dreams, tame visions, and dwarf goals. I no longer need preeminence prosperity, promotion, or applause and popularity. I do not have to be right, first, top, praised, recognized, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, live in his power, lean on his presence, walk with patience, and labor with love. My face is set, my gate is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my confainurs are few. My guide is reliable, my visions are clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, diluted or delayed. I will no longer flench in the face of persecution, hesitate in the presence of my enemies, pander in the pool of popularity or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I will not give up, let up, shut up, until I have stayed up, stored up, paid up, prayed up, peaced up for the cause of Christ. I’m a disciple of Jesus! I will go until he comes. I will preach until all know. I will give until I drop. And He…when He comes for his own will have no problem recognizing me, my banner is clear!”

Is your banner clear tonight? It’s not about is He given his life for you. It’s all about are giving your life for him. It’s not about…is God on your side…He is! We were in a prison the other day and murderers and thieves and serial rapists and all were coming to Christ by the hundreds. It’s not about is He on your side…He is on your side! It’s all about are you on His side! It’s not about is his name written in your book. It’s all about is your name written in His book. It’s not about do you call yourself a Christian, men…It’s about does He call you a Christian. It’s not about do you have a file in your filing cabinet of your heart labled Jesus. It comes out every Sunday morning, and every maybe even Wednesday and every Easter and Christmas. It’s all about does he own the whole entire filing cabinet of your heart. Does He own it all? That’s what it is to give your life to Christ and experience what the Bible calls salvation.

Do you know him?

Do you know Him? It’s a marital term men. Do you know him? It’s a marital term…it’s intimacy. It’s a double relationship where one gives his life for the other and the other gives his life for the other.

Do you truly know Him? Will it be Mathew 7:21 where Jesus says on the last day many will come and say to me Lord Lord? It’s not a wide gate. He said it’s a narrow gate.

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Should I Take This Call?

God Calling

Ring….Ring….Ring…God is calling.

Recently I began to write this blog to break free of a rut that I have been in spiritually.  As I have said in the About Me & the Blog section of this site, I have been called for quite a while to write, speak and teach God’s word.  Though this has been a vision and a calling for some time now, I have not yet acted on it.

Since I began this blog, I have had many opportunities to fellowship in the cockpit.  One opportunity in particular occurred while I was flying a trip out of our Houston base.  On this trip my first officer and I were able to share our stories with each other and have fellowship all because of one question.  It is a typical question of two unacquainted pilots headed to the overnight.  “So…what are you going to do in XYZ town?” he asked me.  So I told him about what I am doing with this blog and what my future vision is for it.  Based on many of the things that I told him that day, he looked over at me while en-route and he said confidently, “don’t be surprised if you find out that this is not the place you are supposed to be”.  He was referring to the airlines.  I don’t go around looking into people’s words searching for prophecy but his words matched what I have been feeling for quite some time now.  I thought they were interesting words coming from someone I had just met.

Fast forward a couple weeks following that trip and as I soaked in the hot tub at the hotel, my mind was at work.  I thought of all the things that I could do if I wasn’t stuck away from the family so much and the thought of leaving the airlines once again permeated my thoughts.  I have an opportunity for a new beginning flying for a company here in Oklahoma City, a job where I will be home nearly every night.  This will give me much more face-time with my family.  Something my kids want and my wife who is lonely desperately needs.

As my wife and I were discussing this big change in our lives, doubt crept in and began telling me of all that could go wrong…and then we went to church this past Sunday.  The message was on God’s calling.  “Interesting…this is a bit timely” I thought as I listened to him.  Our pastor spoke about how we tend to set limits on what God can do.  We tell him that we are willing to do this or that but only if it takes us so far.  The example he gave was when God was calling him to go into children’s ministry.  So he began to pray with his wife and they decided to set a thirty mile limit on where they were willing to go in order to answer God’s call.  Nothing happened.  No job in children’s ministries.  Then the opportunity came for him, but…he had to move to Oklahoma.  He lived in Tennessee and was not interested in leaving, especially if it meant going to Oklahoma City.  But that is exactly what he did.

It was funny during his sermon because he had a graphic up on the projector that showed two doors.  One door was wide open and the other was shut.  A person was standing in front of the closed door desperately trying to force it open.  The door was bowing inwardly toward the person as they tugged all the while an open door was just a few steps away.  That is the story of many of us.  That just may be my story.  I have all these aspirations, all these dreams that won’t go away.  Things that I think God has put there.  I have been trying to fulfill all of them while trying to stay exactly where I am and it’s not working out so well.

There have been so many coincidences in the past month leading to this point.  A point in life where I can be with my family more.  An opportunity to write, teach and become more involved with the church.  The tug on my heart is very strong and now the only question is whether I will decline or answer His call.

I will answer!


God Tests Our Faith

Armed for the Test

The Bible is scattered with stories where God calls his people, raises them, prepares them and watches them grow.  Then he tests them.  One of the times that God did this is back in Genesis when he asked for Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a burnt offering to God.  No doubt this would have put Abraham in great distress.  As a father myself, I can’t even imagine the anguish I would feel if God came  to me and asked me to kill my son to prove my faithfulness to HIm.  Yet this is what He did with Abraham.

This scene is one filled with intense drama.  Imagine it.  Your walking through the wilderness with your only boy who trusts you completely.  He speaks up and he asks you, “dad where we going?”  Then you answer with just enough information to satisfy his curiosity and so he follows.  He is carrying on his back the wood that his lifeless body would be burnt up with just after you cut his throat.

Imagine the feeling this father must have felt knowing that he was leading his son to death all the while grumbling in his heart asking God why….why are you taking my child from me?

Once reaching that place where the alter should be built, you begin to construct an alter by placing stones in a certain fashion working side by side with your young boy.  You instruct him on how to build a good alter, all the while fighting back the emotion and the tears.

As the altar nears completion you ask your son to bring the wood.   The knees that carried you to this place are now trembling and weak and you feel sick because of what you must now do, betray the trust of the innocent and take his life.  In a hasty moment you grab him and you bind his arms and legs so he cannot move.  With a torrent of tears in your eyes you cry and your body shakes as you do this thing that God has commanded you to do.  “Dad why are you doing this to me, your hurting me” he screams.  Finishing the ties and placing him on the alter you continue sobbing uncontrollably, wishing that death would take you before your hands had completed their work.

In one last breath you place your arm around your boy as you move the knife into position to cut his throat, looking deep into his watery eyes your muscles tighten and you prepare to swiftly and deeply make your cut and in that moment…..life stands still, your heart goes numb.

I imagine God shouting at that moment so loud that it caused the ground to shake!  “STOP”

“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him.” (Genesis 22:12 NIV)

Though this is my imagination working while reading this scripture, I want to picture God standing there with a fierce seriousness and concern on his face and with heavy breath causing to stop what was about to happen.  Then he speaks again:

“Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” (Genesis 22:12 NIV)

How powerful right?  To what higher level could a mans loyalty be tested than to be required to kill one of his children, his boy?  I can imagine none!

My father’s words are in my mind as I write this, words that I will never forget so long as I breath on this earth.  “You are my diamonds” he would say to my brother and I.  When we were sick he would always say, “I wish I could take your place”.  His heart hurt when we hurt and he longed to take that hurt from us.  I feel the same way about my children and I imagine Abraham felt the same way too.  God could not have asked this man to do anything more difficult.

So what is my point?  The point is that God is not satisfied with words alone and empty proclamations of faith.   Faith that is lukewarm is detestable to God.  If Abraham’s faith was lukewarm he never would have made the journey to offer his son and his heart would have been known.  If you are proclaiming to be a Christian, be prepared for tests of your faith.  You will be tested.

These tests however do much more than prove to God that he is great.  They become the base of our souls, the very foundation.  You hear it time and again when people are trying to break free from their addictions that they must first hit rock bottom before they can find solid footing for recovery.  In the same way here, the tests of God often bring us to our rock bottom.   That is where God builds his warriors.  When we stop trying to support a life with twigs and allow God to build a proper foundation upon the Rock, then we can be elevated to great heights and remain strong against the winds of this world.

“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?” (Hebrews 12:7)

God disciplines the one’s he loves.  But why discipline?  We often associate this word as a consequence for doing something wrong.  The word here means to instruct, train and educate.  So if we were to rewrite this in context we may read it like this:

“Endure hardship as training; God is treating you as his children.  For what children are not trained by their father? (interpretation based on the greek word Paideuo, which is the word used here)

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” (James 1:2-3 NIV) (As you read the scripture in James, know that “testing” in this context means proving.  The greek word for testing is dokimion which means “proved genuine”.)

What is this perseverance then that James speaks of?  It is a history of success for us.  It is our confidence that no matter what this life throws our way, whether it be God’s tests or trials that come because of the work of the evil one, we will be prepared.

As with anyone who goes off to battle I say remain armed for battle at all times, do not drop your guard.  Be ready.  With this armor, God’s armor given to all his warriors we can withstand our trials and endure the tests of our faith:

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
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.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”  (Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV)

A Pen Without a Writer…

Pen

A pen without a writer is like man without God.  Both the pen and man have a purpose to spread the word.  They are both instruments through which their masters write their stories.

A common pen is used and discarded when it is no longer needed, but a pen that is carefully crafted will be used as long as it can last.  Such a pen must be cared for by it’s master to weather the ages and must be filled time and time again so that the words may come out of it.  We are like these instruments as followers of Christ.

God called on Saul (Paul) as an instrument:

“…This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.” (Acts 9:15 NIV)

We are God’s chosen instruments also.  Though the kind of instrument we are varies according to the gifts God has given us, the purpose is the same.

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” (Romans 12:6-8 NIV)

What more purpose then do we have but to spread that Word, the light of the world and the salvation the lost?


Becoming a Leader

I was Listening to a sermon from Pastor Craig Groeschel today and it caused me to reflect on where I am in my spiritual walk. You see, I constantly worry about what others may be thinking about me. One of the things that Groeschel drove in during the sermon was that I cannot be a leader anywhere if I am too focused on what others think about me.  Why?  Because instead of being a leader, I am following others by seeking approval from them. I am following their lead. I am charting a course based on what I perceive they think about who I am.

Paster Groeschel asked

“Whats the problem” with worrying about what others think?

His answer:

“Pleasing people is idolatry.  In fact, becoming obsessed over what people think about you is the quickest way to forget what God thinks about you.”

Here is what the Bible says in Proverbs 29:25 about it:

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”

So how is this relevant to my own spiritual walk and leadership in the church?  I need to speak of what I feel called to do and what I have been running from because of fear.  I am called to write.  I am called to speak and I am called to lead men.  But I don’t do this because of fear.  Fear of not being good enough.  Fear of being judged because I’m not “christian enough” to have any authority among men.  The scripture that speaks to me loudest on what my calling is can be found  in Judges 6:14:

“The Lord turned to him and said, ‘Go in the strength you have … Am I not sending you?’” (emphasis added)

He does not say to “go and prepare yourself”.  No, he is saying Go now in the strength you have and I will be with you.  I should have been teaching long ago, but feel tremendously under qualified to do so.  My purpose is to lead and to do this means putting my faith in God.  It means trusting that He has already equipped me with more than enough to do the job.  In fact, in closing I will repeat what Pastor Groeschel said over and over in this sermon series:

“It is less about you than you think”

It is about who God is in my life and how I submit to Him and allow him to do good work through me.

Link to the message referred to in this post:

Altar Ego Part 1