Category: Prayer

A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

October 12, 2012 (Psalm 4:3)

‘Know that the Lord has set apart the godly for Himself; the Lord will hear me when I call to Him.’ (Ps. 4:3)

We must continuously rouse ourselves from the drone of our culture in regards to sexual immorality. Slowly, we can be entranced into accepting that kids sleep around, cohabitation is inevitable, gay is OK, marriages fail…Wake Up! We are the people of Light, against whom God promised the ‘gates of hell would not prevail.’ (Matt. 16: 18) If the culture of death fogs in the people of light, little light shines for those trying to find their way Home.

Let’s rouse each other, provoking each other to love and holiness so we can please God and manifest Him to the broken. We can take heart that a blustery, back-and-forth guy like Peter became the Rock on which the Church was built (Matt. 16:17-20). So might we drowsy ones wake up and radiate the Way Home for those stumbling in the dark.
‘Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. Be very careful then, how you live, not as unwise but as wise, for the days are evil.’ (Eph. 5: 14-16)

‘Forgive us for sleeping in the light, O God. We get worn down by the culture and the lusts of our own flesh. Awaken us. You are inexhaustible. May we join with Peter and become like him the Rock that radiates who You are amid an idolatrous world. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess our sins of cowardice and compromise. We have violated Your holy commands in regards to what we have done to our bodies and other bodies. And in our compromise we have become cowards, unwilling to stand for what we know to be true for the dignity of all. We ask that You might have mercy on Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington; uphold marriage in these states, and in our nation, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on ‘gay marriage.

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October 11, 2012 (Psalm 4:3)

‘Know that the Lord works wonders for the faithful’ (Ps. 4:3 NAB)

For the last 32 years, my joy has been leading others beside ‘living waters’, the sin-washing, life-giving flood Jesus releases when the broken gather in His Body to be healed.  Annette and I started our adult service together by gathering men and women in the Name of Jesus (and our local church!) to exchange their gay selves for Jesus-oriented ones. He is the stronghold greater than our sin—He clothes us in justice and mercy when we offer to Him our shameful nakedness.

Since that first group, God has called men and women from around the world to pick up shovels and dig ditches in their local churches—deep furrows that can contain ‘living water’ and welcome the thirsty to immerse themselves in its life-giving, healing flow. Our deep wounds and persistent temptations are no match for mercy. Nor is our small stature as His ministers. God does not call us to be huge; He calls us to be faithful: one shovel-full of dirt, one sprinkling of water, one sinner at a time. He wants people to be healed so much that He uses even us. We are simply tools in His hands. The healing flood is all His.

“This is what the Lord said: ‘Make the valley full of ditches. You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water. This is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord.’ The next morning, there it was—water flowing from the direction of Edom! And the land was filled with water.” (2Kings 3: 16-20)

‘Spring up, O well! As we gather as Your people, seeking You for refuge and restoration, pour out the water of Life. In the words of St. Faustina Kowalska: ‘O blood and water that flows from the heart of the Savior as a fount of mercy for us, we trust in You.’ In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess our sins of cowardice and compromise. We have violated Your holy commands in regards to what we have done to our bodies and other bodies. And in our compromise we have become cowards, unwilling to stand for what we know to be true for the dignity of all. We ask that You might have mercy on Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington; uphold marriage in these states, and in our nation, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on ‘gay marriage.

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October 10, 2012 (Psalm 4:3)

‘The Lord will hear me when I call to Him.’ (Ps. 4: 3)

God is faithful to make a way in the wilderness of sin, to become the river that cleanses sin and restores our original dignity. He reveals a sure path of holiness for all who pray for it.

We can thank God for His beautiful, broken Church, who is awakening to become His arm of holiness for sin-weary seekers. How awesome is she ‘who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!’ (Luke 1: 45) How blessed is the Church who manifests the narrow way of grace and truth for broken ones: a way glorious in hope, splendid in form, protective in holiness, tender in mercy.

‘And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it…But only the Redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sadness and sorrow will flee away.’ (Isa. 35: 8-10)

‘Thank You Jesus for Your Bride, the Church. We love her. We forgive her for her failures, even as we receive Your mercy for our sins as the Church. Help us to see her beauty and contribute to it. Help us as Your body to become that way in the wilderness, those rivers in the desert for sinners returning Home. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess our sins of cowardice and compromise. We have violated Your holy commands in regards to what we have done to our bodies and other bodies. And in our compromise we have become cowards, unwilling to stand for what we know to be true for the dignity of all. We ask that You might have mercy on Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington; uphold marriage in these states, and in our nation, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on ‘gay marriage.

 

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October 9, 2012 (Psalm 4:3)

October 9, 2012

‘Know that the Lord sets apart the godly for Himself.’ (Ps. 4:3)

Whether we like it or not, we live under the threat of judgment. Jesus is returning to judge the world and the Church, and we do well to ‘live holy and godly lives’ in preparation for His coming. (2Pet. 3: 10-12)

Those bound to any life-dominating sins, including sexual ones, should tremble and repent. The prophet Joel foretold this ‘Day of the Lord’ as a fearsome time of refinement but one also in which the Lord would be a refuge for His people. We who have made Him our refuge will find refuge in Him amid judgment. How blessed are we who have relinquished our false hide-outs and now hide ourselves in Him. We are preparing for eternity!

‘The Lord will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and sky will tremble. But the Lord will be a refuge for His people, a stronghold for the people of Israel.’ (Joel 3: 16)

‘You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.’ (Ps. 32: 7)

‘Like David, we seek refuge in You. Amid the trouble of today, we are reduced to You. Thank You for becoming the only stronghold mightier than sin. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess our sins of cowardice and compromise. We have violated Your holy commands in regards to what we have done to our bodies and other bodies. And in our compromise we have become cowards, unwilling to stand for what we know to be true for the dignity of all. We ask that You might have mercy on Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington; uphold marriage in these states, and in our nation, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on ‘gay marriage.

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Repentance and Refuge – October 8, 2012 (Psalm 4:3)

‘Just as there is a momentum to evil, so is there a momentum to repentance.’

Surrender is everything. Unless the seed releases itself to good soil, it remains hard and contained, unable to bear fruit. But when we open in faith, holding nothing back, ‘the Lord works wonders for the faithful.’ (PS 4:2) The ‘wonder’ of repentance requires our personal surrender and good soil in which to open.

At our inaugural conference of Restored Hope Network, pioneer Frank Worthen spoke piercingly of the first point: our personal surrender. After nearly forty years of helping men and women come out of homosexuality, he cited full surrender to Jesus Christ as the factor which differentiates those who proceed to wholeness and those who fall back.

Last week I had the privilege of witnessing a beautiful woman (one of our Living Waters leaders in Kansas City; I’ll call her ‘Kate’) testifying before her church of the journey from lesbian to winsome mother and wife of two (with the help of ‘the best husband in the world.’) Her intricate story hinged on one thing: full surrender to Jesus. She had made a faith commitment to Him years before but was not ready to die to her lesbianism and live for Jesus alone.

No therapy, no group, no eloquent truth can change the fickle heart.

Nevertheless, her ‘death’ required a context. A Christian family loved her pointedly at the point of her readiness to surrender. In a sense, their love primed her for repentance. After that, her restoration into whole womanhood moved swiftly. The momentum of her repentance halted the destructive impact of her double-mindedness and surpassed it.

Repentance means little if we have not good soil in which to die. A seed can open and perish in toxic soil. Gratefully, Kate has a pastor (currently participating in Living Waters for his own well-being) who is committed to creating ‘good soil’ for all who surrender to Jesus in his parish. He knows the risks (outraged seekers) and the rewards: the momentum of repentance to set willing hearts free.

‘No-one who puts their hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the Kingdom of heaven.’ (Lk 9: 62)

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Repentance and Refuge – October 8, 2012

October 8, 2012

‘Know that the Lord sets apart the godly for Himself; (‘works wonders for the faithful’ NAB); the Lord hears me when I call to Him.’ (Ps. 4: 3)

Amid the threat of death, David trusts the Lord. We can too. Our world defies life at every turn: abortion, contraception, doing what we want with our bodies and so defying the giver of life Himself. With child-like trust, we turn to Him—our Creator and Redeemer who ‘works wonders’ for the repentant heart.

Like David, we can be assured that God Himself becomes the refuge for those who trust in Him rather than in sexy idols. He is the counter-cultural God! Think of it: He chose Israel out of all the other nations to reveal Him—the one true God—through instituting monogamy—one man for one woman. The Church today bears witness of her glorious future when she becomes one with Christ, her bridegroom, through the witness of whole relating between man and woman.

That means that God will work wonders in those of us who have gotten off track. He does not just call us to do right—He helps us! He sets us apart for Himself. We become like Him as we worship Him. He redeems us, which involves our freedom to become sexually whole. He is our refuge, our wonder-working God.

‘He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and fortress, my God in whom I trust.’ (Ps. 91:1, 2)

‘May we trust in You, O God, amid the threat of sexual immorality. May we become like You as we place our hope wholly in You. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess our sins of cowardice and compromise. We have violated Your holy commands in regards to what we have done to our bodies and other bodies. And in our compromise we have become cowards, unwilling to stand for what we know to be true for the dignity of all. We ask that You might have mercy on Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington; uphold marriage in these states, and in our nation, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on ‘gay marriage.

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