crucibleWaiting is a crucible. Almost nothing causes your flesh to burn like waiting on the Lord. Bob Sorge recently tweeted, “There is no hotter flame than waiting on God. That’s why God calls you to wait—He’s refining you.” Bob knows what He’s talking about, having walked a path of waiting few of us have ever experienced.

When we understand that God uses waiting as a means to purify our hearts it gives us courage to persevere, though we may wait long. We know that the outcome of the waiting is ultimately for our good and blessing, though the pain of the waiting can be excruciating.

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Waiting on the LordWhen the bible talks about waiting on the Lord, what exactly is it talking about? Waiting is quieting yourself in stillness with hopeful expectation of the Lord’s leadership and action in your life. It’s ceasing for your own ways to allow the Lord to accomplish His will through your life in His way. Waiting is not idleness nor laziness. It’s not in opposition to work. It is actively choosing to pause, maybe for an extended period of time, in order to allow the Lord to show Himself strong on your behalf.

Waiting and Hoping are synonymous. Consider Psalm 130:5, “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope.” When we wait on the Lord we position ourselves in hopeful expectation of His activity in our lives.

There are multiple components to waiting on the Lord. Here are a few that helped give me clarity as to what waiting on the Lord is really about. Read More

Better Be Prompt! One of the chief story lines of Scripture is the struggle between the arm of the flesh and the arm of the Lord. The arm of the flesh speaks of the strength of man while the arm of the Lord speaks of the strength of God. The struggle between the two is a repetitive theme throughout the entire bible – humankind’s unwillingness to hear and obey God’s voice and God’s answer with power to show humanity his utter and complete need of God. Mankind tries to prove, albeit horribly ineffectively, how much he can establish without God, while God shows humanity that without Him we can do nothing.

It’s ultimately rebellion in the heart of man that causes him to attempt to assert himself against God. Fallen humanity loves to try to prove that he doesn’t need God, that he can take care of himself and accomplish all he wants without God.

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Burning-Heart-burn-fire-heart-love-hurt-redThe Lord is stirring so many right now to go to the nations of the earth and preach the gospel. Many, especially young people, are hearing the call to go to those who have never heard. I’m personally touched in this way, believing God’s plan is to mobilize the greatest mission thrust the earth has ever seen in this generation. This is the hour we will see a massive army of missionaries mobilized to the hardest and darkest parts of the earth for the glory of the Name of Jesus.

I was thinking if I were 20-ish and felt compelled to go to the nations I would like to know the most important things to sustain my heart on the field. It’s no secret that a large percentage of missionaries find themselves off the field within a very short period of time. I’d want to know the heart realities that sustain someone while they’re serving the Lord in a culturally unfamiliar and spiritually challenging location. Without getting into necessary natural issues like language training and dealing with culture shock(yes, it’s real), I want to offer you essential components that will sustain your heart in a missions context. Read More

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Leadership in ministry can be very taxing. I know firsthand the demands that ministry can put upon a leader. There is a physical, spiritual and emotional load those in leadership bare. As a result of ministry burnout many leaders end up out of ministry prematurely.

Evey leader experiences seasons of tiredness. The apostle Paul described himself as regularly weary and often going without sleep. Tiredness is normal, but ministry fatigue is dangerous. The reason I say fatigue is dangerous is because the step after fatigue is burn out.

Here’s a few identifiers and contributors to ministry fatigue. If these locate you, I encourage you, step back, get some R&R and allow the Lord to refresh your heart and vision.

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I was 24 and had just started my first full-time ministry position. From my vantage point things were pretty difficult.

“I must be going through spiritual warfare.” I reasoned. I approached my pastor after a service to pray for me.

“Pastor, I need you to prayer for me. I think I’m under spiritual attack” I said.

“Oh really. Tell me about it. What’s going on?” He was genuinely interested and willing to help.

As I tried to explain the nature of the “attack”, I realized I couldn’t pinpoint anything specific. I touched on a few challenges, but nothing materialized as an obvious problem. He looked at me with understanding eyes. I fumbled and mumbled and finally summarized, “I’m not really sure, things are just harder than I expected. I’m not doing so well.” Read More

bound4lifeAs my wife and I stood silently praying in front of the abortion clinic the woman across the street got increasingly agitated. She yelled at us, mocked us and continually called us haters. Over the course of the next hour, she held up signs that read, “Timothy McVeigh Fan Club” and “Haters.” She took pictures of us with the signs in front of us. The entire time, we did not talk or fight back, we simply stood there, silently praying for those entering the abortion clinic.

Ironically, after we finished, my wife said, “I’m pretty sure I know her.”

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Boston_bombing_dynamic_timeline_503730000_20130419171942_640_48010 days ago, we began to hear the horrific news that two bombs had been detonated at the Boston Marathon with hundreds of casualties. The tragedy, we have come to find out, was perpetrated by two brothers, 26 and 19 who had anti-American leanings. We watched last week as the drama unfolded and the two men were hunted down by the FBI, one losing his life and the other captured. We came to find out that as many as 24 people lost limbs in this attack and 3 lost their lives, one of whom was 8-years-old. Painful, horrifying, unthinkable. Pick an adjective, it won’t do justice to the incredible sense of loss so many are still feeling as a result of this tragedy.

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Rom 5:1-5  Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,  2  through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  3  And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;  4  and perseverance, character; and character, hope.  5  Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

We must comprehend that we have a chosen path, by God, a walk that the Lord has laid before each of us that is intricately designed by heaven to bring us into maturity in love.

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