Express His Glory in Your Life

Posts tagged ‘knowing God’

Hearing God in Horrors of Hurt

On the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, looking to Jesus–our INTERCESSOR–is a blessed endeavor!  May you enjoy this excerpt from my devotional, Fixing our Eyes on God.

There are some wonderful, awe-inspiring revelations of Jesus that begin with “I.”  He is the I am, the Image of the invisible God, immortal, immutable, and Immanuel, God with us!  The One who is all of those things is also our Intercessor.  Scriptures tells us He lives that He can make intercession for us!  Now that is an incredible view of our Savior!

Intercessory prayer weaves its way throughout scripture.  In the Old Testament, we see God’s people, His prophets and His priests offering prayers on behalf of others.  Isaiah prophesied that the coming Deliverer would pray for sinners.

Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:12

The truth of that prophesy shines forth in the New Testament as we observe Jesus praying for His disciples, His enemies and us!

Intercession is a costly endeavor that God expects from each of us.  Yet God never asks us to do anything He won’t join us in doing.  Intercession is a joint endeavor…it fulfills the prayer of Jesus in John 17 which asks the Father to bring us to unity.  Intercession unites our hearts with others, with the Spirit, with Christ and with the Father.  The fact that Jesus is our Intercessor reveals the incredible privilege we have to intercede.

Our human passions and concerns often cloud our minds.   We do not always know what to ask of the Father; we would miss countless blessings without our Intercessor!  The Spirit searches our hearts for the needs we cannot express—and sometimes do not know.  The Spirit’s unity with Christ—and His with the Father—brings the very will of God into the center of our being.

Our Intercessor’s prayers are pure and perfect, aligned with God’s purposes for our lives.  Jesus asks for exactly what we would ask—if only we understood as He does.    Our minds can only glimpse the fringes of the great mystery of unity with God through Christ.  Our intercessory prayers for others allow us to join in the very work of our Savior.  May we rejoice in His work and our privilege as intercessors!

How can we look like Christ?

The plan for believers in Christ is that we be transformed into the image of our Savior.  More than two decades after surrendering to God, I realize more and more how much work God still has to do in me!  The only way to know what God is doing in my transformation is to know more about the One whom I am to become like.

We are to be a source for the world to see God…I want people to see Him more than me.  God is worthy of our total dedication to know Him more and to reveal Him more.  As we learn more of His traits and practice them in the details of our lives, His purposes are accomplished.

Below is an incomplete list of Character Traits of Christ that I want to see more of in my life.  It makes a great Perpetual Prayer guide to go through each month.  Years ago, I began using it as a guide for praying for my children but quickly realized I–and every other child of God–needs the same prayers.  May it bless you as your pray through it.

1. Humility—willingness to submit.   James 4:10

2. Reverence—fear of the Lord.   Proverbs 9:10

3. Purity—desire to be clean.   Matthew 5:8

4. Purpose—wisdom to set goals.   Proverbs 4:25

5. Simplicity—an uncluttered life.   Romans 12:8

6. Commitment—dedication.   Joshua 24:15

7. Diligence—willing to work hard.   II Peter 1:5

8. Servanthood—desire to help others.   Galatians 6:9,10

9. Consistency—be faithful, reliable.   James 1:8

10. Restoration—ministry of healing.   Isaiah 61:1,2

11. Assurance—deep faith in God.   Hebrews 10:22

12. Availability—willing to go.   Isaiah 6:8

13. Loyalty—zeal for fidelity.   Ruth 1:16

14. Sensitivity—open heart.   Luke 10:30-37

15. Compassion—love in action.   Mark 8:1,2

16. Tenderness—willing to weep.   II Kings 22:19

17. Maturity—capable of growing.   Hebrews 5:12-14

18. Holiness—Christ-like actions. I Peter 1:16

19. Reliability—dependable.   I Corinthians 4:2

20. Authority—capable of commanding.    Matthew 16:19

21. Revelation—learn to listen.   Ephesians 1:15,18

22. Self-denial—willing to sacrifice.   Luke 9:23

23. Confidence—strength of the Lord.   Philippians 4:13

24. Integrity—truthful.   Romans 12:17

25. Repentance—willing to change.   Luke 3:8

26. Trust—fearless reliance. Psalm 125:1

27. Submission—choose to yield. Ephesians 5:21

28. Teachability—humble enough to learn. Titus 3:2

29. Prayerful—longing to wait.   Isaiah 40:31

30. Unity—respect for others.   1 Corinthians 1:10

31. Generosity—desire to give.   Matthew 10:8

Another great tool that aids in transformation is knowing God by Name.  My devotional book, Fixing our Eyes on God is one such tool.  The glory of God transforms!  Seek Him.

Have You Seen It?

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“Pride cannot live beneath the cross.  Let us sit there and learn our lesson, and then rise and carry it into practice…

…Stand at the foot of the cross, and count the purpose drops by which you have been cleansed…And if you do not lie prostrate on the ground before that cross, you have never seen it:  if you are not humbled in the presence of Jesus, you do not know Him.”  Spurgeon

 

What is Cross-Life Coaching?

Can you really hear from God?

I think perhaps this is the most common question folks have.   The short answer is YES!  His Word is the place to begin, but He speaks individually as well.  You will find other pieces on this blog–and many other places–to help you explore the topic.  This is a recent compilation of tips on hearing from God.  How does He speak to you?  Share your experiences in the comments!

Hearing from God is the interpreting of life in the context of God.  It requires the Holy Spirit, so looking at the arrival of the Spirit is useful.  In Acts 2, the Spirit filled the ‘house.’  When God is all around, hearts are set on fire.  When your heart is on fire, your life speaks that God is real.  

You hear from God and you speak in a way that helps people understand GOD IS REAL.  BUT not all people will understand.  Some of the people at Pentecost thought the disciples were crazy or drunk.  The timing may not be right for another, but that does not negate what you hear.  

  • Hearing from God is receiving a Personal Word.  If you hear someone speak of a ‘rhema’ word, this is what they mean.  Christ is the ‘logos’ come to life.  God never speaks in a way that contradicts the written Word, the logos, the life of Christ.  He brings the WORD to bear on your unique circumstances.
  • Hearing from God requires humility…a willingness to fail, a willingness to be judged by others.  Humanity is prone to error.  It is possible to misunderstand and/or be misunderstood when you listen and speak of God’s word to you.
  • Hearing from God requires courage. God doesn’t speak just so you can sail through life without struggle.  Paul got on a boat that went down; was bit by a viper; blocked from some ministries; imprisoned; beaten and ultimately killed.  Danger is part of the package:  faith is fearless.
  • Hearing from God requires confidence in God.  If you get it wrong, if the results are not what you wanted…it is okay.  It is not about us anyway…it is all about God.  He is greater than the mistakes you (or another) will make.
  • Hearing from God requires living in freedom…living in the presence of God.  
  • Hearing from God requires the grace of God…for yourself and others.  
  • Hearing from God requires faith in God.  Getting it wrong or getting into situations you never intended opens the door for seeing His power and provision.
  • Hearing from God is Holy Ground.  Don’t take Him for granted.  Don’t ignore what He tells you.  Sin separates us from God.  It can block our hearing Him…and His listening to us.

BEWARE:  “God told me to tell you.”

God is all about relationship.  He prefers to speak directly to us, but sometimes God will ask one person to deliver a message to another.  Be cautious as the speaker or the hearer when you hear, “God told me…” Remember, humanity is prone to error.  “God told me” can border on a manipulative tactic.

The advice I like best about the idea that God is telling you to speak to someone:  if you want to do it, it probably is not God nudging you.  If it is a message you don’t want to deliver—that’s probably God.  (Think Samuel or Moses).

If someone is telling you “God said…”, go talk to God.  What is the reaction of your spirit—your gut response?  Do you know it is right but you don’t want to do it?  That’s God.  However, when in doubt, don’t.  If their message doesn’t resonate in you–follow your peace.  Don’t let someone put their burden on you.  Listen to God.  

Don’t automatically negate another’s word for you…God has been known to speak through donkeys.  At the same time, refuse to negate their burden.  God, indeed, may have given it to them.  Just because it is not yours does not mean it is not valid.

HEARING IMPAIRMENTS

Know that the devil does not want you to hear.   God’s goal of speaking is always relationship & unity.  He calls us closer to Him so we will know Him more.  “How shall they know unless they hear?”  There are any number of things that can interfere with hearing from God: stuff of life, busyness, worries, fear, resentments, unforgiveness, sin…  The very things that block our hearing are the things God stands ready to use to transform us.

The things you struggle with are the places God is speaking to you.  Don’t run away.  Don’t throw out accusations at others (or God).  Don’t fall into despair.  Seek His face in the darkness; He is there.

God speaks all the time.  He is the great I AM who is always present.  He is LIFE itself.  The pure in heart see God…and when you see Him, you will speak LIFE and others will hear.  You will know He is present as you share in worshipping Him with others.

Knowing the King

Soaking in the presence of God restores my strength.  It is such a joy.  Sometimes the weights of the world deceive me into thinking I must carry them.  It breaks my heart to see and hear the ways the devil steals, kills and destroys.  This morning, this quote blessed me as I sought His face this morning, and I wanted to share it with others:

“He has subdued my stubborn will, melted a heart of adamant, opened gates of brass, and snapped bars of iron.  He hath turned for me my mourning into laughter, and my desolation into joy; He hath led my captivity captive and made my heart rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”  Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

Do you know Him?  If you know Him, you will surely enjoy Him!

 

What is Cross-Life Coaching?

Growing up spiritually does not just ‘happen.’  The Apostle Paul said we must ‘work out what God has put in us.’  When I accepted Christ as Lord–as opposed to a ticket out of hell–I had trouble finding folks who could articulate the Way to do that.  They told me ‘read the Bible,’ ‘do this’ and ‘do that.’  They were not wrong, but I needed more. Living the ‘Cross-Life’ involves changing habits and attitudes.

I would have loved a Cross-Life Coach to move me forward in my journey in those early days.  And that is why I now offer Cross-Life Coaching to those who feel the same way.

I believe with all my heart that JESUS is the answer to every problem we face in life.  I also know that many good Christians struggle to figure out HOW He is the answer.

We get stuck on our own; we need more than words and insights.  We need another person to come along side us. Church fellowships, friends who share our faith beliefs and pastors are valuable resources.  Sometimes, though, those resources do not extend to the depth desired.

It is my personal joy to walk alongside many in the capacity of sister-in-Christ.  Coaching is more deliberate and intensive.  It establishes goals and digs deeply into the heart to enlarge the capacity for Christ-likeness.   Coaching involves ‘homework’ and ‘heartwork.’ It is a labor intensive prospect.

WHY would I use Cross-life Coaching?

Cross-life Coaching is all about achieving potential…about being all that God created you to be.    It is for the person who wants more from life!  It is for the person who sees what they do with life as their thank-you gift to God!

Cross-Life Coaching is designed for all who:

  • feel ‘stuck’ in a certain behavior pattern or situation.
  • believe there is more to living the Christian life than they currently enjoy.
  • want to identify and remove barriers to abundant living.
  • seek clarity on expectations, goals and life purpose.
  • long to live with their eyes focused on eternal impact.

WHAT kind of things will come up?

Cross-Life Coaching is personal.  The life of faith is lived out individually but abundant living involves some common areas:

  • Knowing God More
  • Developing as His Disciple
  • Healing from Hurts
  • Giving God Glory by Sharing Your Hope
Give me a hope, M.G. Kafkas

Give me a hope, M.G. Kafkas

How can I learn more?

The Heart of God

One of my favorite song choruses leads us in these words:

“Just to know You and to make You known”

Being known in all of His fullness is the heart of God.  Jesus tells those who listen that knowing the Father and Himself is eternal life.  We cannot know God without the Holy Spirit.  Our natural minds are simply not able to grasp His greatness.  Humbly accepting that opens the door to the help of the Helper.  The Father, Son and Spirit always work together to give life to God’s favorite creation:  humanity!

The Word of God reveals the heart of God.  There is no way to know God without digging into it.  This morning I watched God seeking to reveal Himself to Moses, the people of Israel and Pharaoh.  All through the passages of the Exodus, God says “that you will know that I am God.”  It wasn’t that the Israelites didn’t know of God–they didn’t know Him in His fullness.  Pharaoh did not know God, but he saw God work in the lives of those God pulled into relationship with Himself.  The life of faith is about getting to know God intimately AND fully–and in so doing making Him known to others.

Abundant life is knowing God as He is revealed in the Word.  Jesus Christ ‘became the Word’ – meaning He walked the earth to reveal what God in human flesh looks like.  We can be changed into His likeness only by the work of God.  The Spirit dwells in us to teach us of God and strengthen us in our walk.  Together as believers, we reveal God to a world that does not know Him.  Just like Moses and the Israelites, that walk of faith involves doubts, deafness and amazing deliverance.  Jesus also said that believing His Words walks hand-in-hand with believing the words of the prophets (the Old Testament).

Don’t settle for a one-dimensional God…press in to know Him in His fullness.  

One way to do that is to search out the Names of God and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you more of who God is.  If you would like a list to get you started, click here.

For a beautiful look at Jesus Christ, visit the Desiring God site and enjoy their insights!

By the way, the picture you clicked to come to this page…it is a picture of a molecule within your own body.  The ‘cell adhesion molecule’ – the molecule that holds you us together.  God reveals Himself in the most amazing ways.  LOOK FOR HIM!

 

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