Thursday, May 17, 2012

He Has Only Begun To Show His Greatness

As I sit here on May 17th and think back on where God has led us, I can only thank Him for all of the sovereign protection and victories He has given us as a family through the many hardships and circumstances faced.  From the countless times I thought that Sarah and I would never make it being married, to Josiah being 8 weeks premature to him literally having to be revived twice in the NICU, to at the beginning of our sixteen year marriage having months at a time jobless which created enormous financial distress.  

And through ALL of that here we sit.  On the eve of launching Church at Hampton Roads in a few months having seen Gods provision and power through the whole process.  The love I have for God NEVER gets old, because I have seen His hand and His faithfulness in our lives.  His grace and mercy got us from where we were, to where we are, even though we do NOT deserve it!

If you feel like you are out in the middle of the wilderness and God has forgotten you I want to tell you He has NOT.  Moses was leading the Israelites from Egypt to Canaan (the promised land) and God led them by a route and timeframe they were not ready for.  But it was for a specific purpose.  To see if they were going to trust.  But more importantly to GIVE them on opportunity to trust.  God only does this so that He can confirm to you that He is who He says He is.  He does this through the miraculous that comes from our faith in a time of distress. From our praise and thanksgiving in a time of turmoil. 

But what I love about Moses's story is that he says in Deuteronomy chapter 3 verse 24,

"You have only begun to show Your greatness and the strength of Your hand to me..."

Really?  This was towards the end of Moses's life and he makes this statement?  He had seen God deliver Israel from Egypt by 10 amazing plagues and then parted the Red Sea for them.  He had sustained them for over 30 years in the desert and God has only begun to show His greatness and His strength??????

I feel a stirring when I read these words!  I want to tell you that no matter where you are in life there is a God that wants to move POWERFULLY on your behalf.  He wants to be faithful to you.  He wants to bless you and prosper you.  But in the end it is all about trust. Just as it was for the Israelites.  You see if we get up, leave our house and get to work before we acknowledge we have not even spoken a word to God, we really do not see our need for Him.  Although we saw a tremendous need for underwear and clothes because we realize the things that could happen if we did not physically get dressed.

We have to come to the place where we realize what happens when we do not get spiritually dressed.  God can not move on our behalf due to our lack of faith and trust.  Along with that, we need to recognize the root of why we have not stopped and recognized Him, pride.

NOTHING exists without God.  It is His mercy that allows us to breath. At times we deny Him with the very intelligence we would not have if He did not first give it to us.  What arrogance.  What would happen if we put Him in His rightful place?  If we trusted Him like we trust the food we eat?  What would happen if we desired to clothe ourselves with our relationship with Him like we desire to clothe ourselves with Banana Republic or Nordstroms?  We would see victory.  We would see provision.  We would begin to hear Him speak to us!  Because humility has now entered the picture, we have truly put God in His place, we have learned to place our trust and our hope in the Creator of ALL things.

Today, I challenge you to stir your expectancy and faith.  To make an intentional decision to clothe yourself with your personal relationship and hope in Jesus, the God above ALL gods.  To trust Him MORE than the food you eat.  This puts you in the position to see Him fight for you. That's an incredible thought because when God fights HE WINS!  And at the time in your life when you have begun to see the many incredible things He has done you will find yourself realizing that He desires to do extravagantly more for you than you could even think.  Why?  Because you have loved Him.  You will find yourself realizing that He has only begun to show you His greatness and the strength of His right hand!

Trust Him today.  He wants to fight for you!


Monday, May 7, 2012

The Greatest Sign of Expectation is Preparation

Last night was our first Launch Team Meeting in which Sarah and I were actually physically present for the meeting and not joining in via the Internet.  It was an amazing feeling.  We had wondered off and on when we would finally get to plant our feet on Virginian soil seeing how we have been in transition over a year at this point and we were still in Northwest Arkansas.

Well, April 28th of 2012 we arrived in Chesapeake VA!  7 years after arriving at Keypoint Church and helping them plant, 7 years after purchasing our home in Bella Vista and 7 months after God speaking in September that we were to plant a church our feet finally touched our newly leased home in Chesapeake...

It has been said that in the Bible the number 7 represents the number of completion.  For our family, April has definitely been the completion of an incredible season.  It is said the number 8 in the Bible represents the number of new beginnings.  The month of May is definitely that for us since it is the eighth month since the vision for Church at Hampton Roads was conceived.  We are truly excited for what is to come.

I believe no matter what season you or I are in we need to be expecting.  Expecting God to move, expecting the impossible to become possible, expecting God to be faithful to His word and His promises.  But how do we know whether or not our expectancy or our faith has been worn down, depleted or robbed?

I believe the test is to look at our calendar.  Just like a checkbook reveals what is important to us because it shows us where our money is going, our calendar will also let us know what we perceive to be on the horizon for our lives because it shows us where our time is going.  If we are not daily preparing it is safe to say our expectancy has been plundered.  We have had our dreams and hopes dashed and all that is left is routine, mediocrity and we are merely just trying not to loose any more ground.

My encouragement today is PREPARE.  Prepare for greatness!  God has NOT called you to be ordinary.  He creates extraordinary things! And you are His creation...realize the enemy has stolen from you.  Get mad that you have allowed yourself to be robbed of something more precious than money!  To the level you are preparing is the level you are expecting.  The Bible says in Hebrews 11:6,

"Without faith it is impossible to please God..."

I would say without expectancy we may not see anything, ever.  Do not go another day without looking in the mirror and asking yourself, "What am I expecting?"  Paint the picture of faith!  Paint the picture of expectation!  You will see your daily routine begin to change, your passions renewed and a new level of fresh air invade your life. Remember, 

"The greatest sign of expectation is preparation..."