When my Jeep needs work, I prefer to take it to my “Jeep Guy” because he is not only a great mechanic, but an expert in Jeeps who was trained by the manufacturer. It just makes more sense to take “Jeepers” to someone who, given the right parts, can build a Jeep from the ground up. (Yes, I name my vehicles and sometimes have long conversations with them…. Don’t judge me).
It makes sense for us when something in our physical life needs repair or maintenance to take it to the manufacturer or someone trained by the manufacturer for that specific product. In fact, some manufacturers will not honor the warranty on their product if you do otherwise. It simply makes sense that the designer of thing is best equipped to get that thing back into its optimal state.
So why do I – and perhaps you, too – often go to everyone but our Designer when something is “off” in our own bodies, spirits, or lives? A line in the Bible “jumped off the page” (or, rather the iPhone screen) for me this morning and got me thinking about all this. Because, really… “Shouldn’t people go to their God for help”? HE designed us and know better than anyone how to heal, direct, sustain, and protect us. Yes, He may and does use many others, from friends to physicians, in our healing process. But we should go to the HIM first rather than the THEM! And just like my “Jeep Guy” might refer me out to a specialist for some types of work (like when I am able to have her transformed into a giant Jeep with big tires that can drive through 4 feet of mud without getting stuck), I will still go to him first for direction.
So let’s operate in the same mindset with something a whole lot more valuable, timeless, and irreplaceable than a vehicle. Let’s go to our Maker first. Because as Tasha Cobbs Leonard said in this incredible YouTube Clip of a worship service she led, “All the strength and the peace and the joy that you need is at the feet of Jesus.”
“The people will say, ‘Go to the fortunetellers and wizards who mumble and chirp like birds. Ask them what to do.’ But I say, ‘Shouldn’t people go to their God for help? Why go to the dead to get help for the living?'” – Isaiah 8:19 ERV (Holy Bible: Easy-to-read Version)
I was so blessed to participate in #ConquerConference2016 and spend an afternoon with some beautiful women as we learned together how to better hear the voice of our #GoodGoodFather through #AbidingPrayer. And the beautiful church we were in recorded our breakout session – so you are more than welcome to join us through the power of technology.
(The information below was included on the handout mentioned in the conference video).
Thank you for joining me in this journey of learning to pray and live from a position of “pre-paid” connection with the only source of Truth and LIFE rather than from a position of constant seeking and chasing for blessings and answers from God.
Key Verse: “If _________________ abides in me, and my words abide in _________________, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for _____________.” –John 15:7
(Write your name in the blank instead of “You”)
Meditate daily on Key Passage, John 15:1-11.
Also, dig deep into the whole “root system” of God’s word by finding other passages referencing the same or similar concept of abiding, staying, or uniting with God.
Commit the passages that touch you most deeply to memory. Write personalized confessions based on these passages and speak them out.
Checking where you are praying from is just as important as how you pray. Visualize your position in Him (whatever reminder picture He puts on your heart that helps you see yourself as a much loved daughter who has always had her Father’s ear).
Don’t be afraid of imagination and visualization in your Prayers. God is the author of these concepts – not the new age movement. Consistency combined with a passionate listening style of prayer that incorporates all of the senses God gave you will change prayer from a task that may or may not produce results to a lifestyle of powerful connection with your Creator.
Abide In Christ: A 31-Day Devotional for Fellowship with Jesus – Andrew Murray
The Practice of the Presence of God – Brother Lawrence
God Is Closer than You Think – John Ortberg
Fervent – Priscilla Shirer
Hosting the Presence – Bill Johnson
Seeing is Believing: Experiencing Jesus through Imaginative Prayer – Greg A Boyd
“God, Your words – my mouth.
Your thoughts – my mind.
Your love – my heart.
Here’s all of me!”
The words of this song that my Amazing Church will be opening this Sunday’s Weekend Experience with are playing over and over in my head and heart. Imagine how different our world would look if we not only sang these words, but lived them.
Do you ever wonder why when you try to live selflessly, thankfully, and authentically it seems like every element in rhe entire universe is aligning to try stop you from doing so?
The answer to that question lies in some ancient words….
Centuries ago, the Apostle Paul was mentoring Timothy and wrote him a letter. In that letter – now a part of the Bible – God was giving His Church a glimpse of what life would be like in our modern times.
Paul was telling Timothy that the “latter days”, a.k.a. our modern age, would be characterized by people who are relentlessly greedy, self-seeking, lazy, and ungrateful… among other things. In essence, this passege tells us that the spirit of our modern times is selfish pride. So, when we strive to live beyond ourselves to walk out a lifestyle of kindness and humility, we are actually rebelling against the evil “spirit of the age” that Paul wrote to Timothy about so very long ago.
No wonder it feels like all hell itself is coming against us when we strive to live beyond ourselves! Does this mean we shouldn’t live in the beautiful love-led way Jesus modeled for us when He walked our streets? Of course not! That kind of selfless love-driven life is exactly what He made us for. So keep going for that kind of life, friends…. a life so much bigger than what you see around you and the pretense on your TV and computer screen.
But, keep in mind… When you live like that you are being a rebel against our very times for the cause of Christ. So don’t you dare do it without Him. And don’t you dare do it alone. Depend on God’s strength – not your own. And stay in community, a Bible-based church (like my Amazing Church) where you’re surrounded and supported by other “rebels” against the spirit of this selfish age.