Thursday, July 29, 2010

Faithfilled Life

Exodus 14:12 "Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, "Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness."
     Let's get some things clear first .
      1. The people talking here are Isrealites ,(God's people) talking to Moses (the man God placed as their leader)
      2. In the Old Testament, Egypt represents a sin controlled life
      3. The wilderness is the place God led them thru in order to get them to the Promise land, which God had reserved for them. It also represents the area of faith God wants us to live in, where we walk dependent on Him.

    (Now let's pretend like we are all on the same page and understand what was explained above)

    This scripture blows my mind! It is a scripture that has churned in my mind alot recently, and it is now churning again.  God has called us to live in a place where our actions demand that God completes what we get into, or else we fail.  I mean, isn't that what it really means to live by faith.  How in the world can I really be living by faith if I only stay in situations that I can either naturally cause to happen or can by my own ability resolve if it goes bad. The Isrealites had been used to living in slavery and bondage and they never tried to go against that system. Then this man named Moses shows up with words from God Almighty and is an example of living by faith in the One who is unseen.
     Each time Moses went before Pharoah, it was by faith in God's power. If God didn't protect him, then Moses' only other option was instant death for insulting and commanding Pharoah.  No one else ever dared to do this, because all Pharoah had to do was say, "Off with his head!"  Moses was God's leader for the people of Isreal, and Moses lived moment to moment by faith.  The people of Isreal liked Moses' faith, they liked his confidence, and they even followed him when he said it was time to leave the life of sin and slavery.  The people learned a lesson very quickly. It was great to watch another person step out in faith, and it was great to see God at work in them- but it was a whole different situation to actually live by faith themselves. 
     Sadly I think most people start their Christian life the same way.They see the way God shines through someone. They see the life in their eyes, and the passion of life and eternal life that seems to seems to sweat out of their pores. They say, "I want that."  Starting out because of seeing how God works through someone is awesome, but God doesn't want us to continue to live off of the rememberances of what He did for another person in times past.  God's desire is for people to live a life that writes their own personal story of a faith filled life. A life that demands, either God shows up or we fail. 
      I have learned that Exodus 14:12 shows us the difference in a person who lives with dependence on God, versus just following a person who is dependent on God.  Those who live by faith find themselves in desperate situations that have amazing results of God's power answering their cries.  Those who simply try to follow another person without ever trully living by faith themselves always ending up fussing about the place their leader led them too, and end up looking back at their life of sin as though they enjoyed the shame. 
      The story that God finishes as a result of a faithfilled life, is so much better than the history satan has lead us too in our past.  Step out, everyone needs a Moses to follow, but everyone needs to become a Moses for others as well.  Everyone needs a leader, and God has intended for everyone to become a leader to another.

I believe Jesus said it like this, ""All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age." (Matthew 28:19)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Thoughts from a man whose eyes have been opened

This past week Calley and I were making our weekend visits to see family and friends.  We were traveling down the lake highway when God just began flooding my mind with the stage of life that I am in.  It is finally setting in with me that I really am 31 and soon to be 32.  I am now just barely a month away from being a child of God for 13 years! I have been a husband for nearly 8 years, and a father for over 6. I was a youth pastor for 8 years or so and now, a pastor for just over a year.
    Life has truly been a real adventure since that wonderful night in August of 1997.  I remember that night in that downstairs chapel at Louisiana College, it is something that forever stays close to my heart and the picture stays in my mind.  As I look back at that moment, I think about all that God has done for me or thru me since that night, I think of the the tears and the laughter.  It is overwhelming to try to understand this level of joy that Jesus has filled my heart with.
   A life for Jesus is so misunderstood by the majority of people, I think. It saddens me to see this.  As God flashes memories of my last 13 years to me, I am amazed by what has happened since that August night.  The initial adoption into the family of God is not the great end of the road that most view, it is only the beginning of years of amazing adventure, trails, rescues, miracles, and heart regeneration to unimaginable levels. 
   I would never have dreamed that being a Christian meant such a level of peace and victory that is beyond description.  The call of Jesus is not for us to say a prayer, His call is for us to surrender in order for him to do His good work and purpose through us.
Phillipians 2:13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

    I remember well the tears of Aug 1997, and many tears since then. I remember the tears of last week, and I see that Psalm 126:5 is being fulfilled. (Psalm 126:5 Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.)

   I believe that Aug 97 was the greatest moment in history of my life, that night completely changed all rules for the years to come.  Right now in 2010 though I believe I am on the heels of the greatest work that God has ever done in my Christian life. I see it coming with tears sown and joy to be reaped.  At this point in time, everything on the inside of me is overflowing because of the growth I see within Cornerstone Church of Vidalia, LA. I see God sending us the hopeless, rejected, those who have been abused by worldly promises.  I see God using our body of believers to reach out and love people in a way that is beyond our ability, because He is the power working within.
   If God broke my heart in Aug 97 just for this moment in time, it has been well worth the wait.  There are currently over 30,000 people within a 20 mile radius, and Lord I want to reach each one that others haven't reached out to. I want to reach out to those whom others have given up on.  The census according to July 2008 says Concordia parish has 19,000 people and the city of Natchez, MS has an estimated 16,413 as of 2008. 

Prayer:  Lord, lots of people within our area don't know You or what You have planned for them.  Use us to bring the local people of our area to a life that's surrendered to You and the truth of Your ability to do things exceedingly beyond their imaginations for them.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Things

Time to revive this baby.... Got lots going on, lots of faith steps happening, and lots to share.