Tag Archives: Holy Spirit

Get Ourselves Out of the Way

It never ceases to amaze me the things that God will reveal to me or remind me about at the most random times and in moments when I’m not even locked into receiving anything.  Usually when I get to late in the evening, my mind begins to wind down as we all do, getting ready to turn in for the night.  Last night was a exception.  Coming home from an evening watching my daughter sing at a Talent Show, which was awesome by the way, we came home to wind down.  Kids went off to bed.  Amber was working on a couple things, and I flipped the TV channels and found “The Legend of Bagger Vance.”  It was about mid-way through, but I didn’t care.  Love that movie, so I kept it there and watched.

If you’re not familiar with the movie, Matt Damon plays a man named Rannulph Junuh from Savannah, GA, who had everything going for him as a golfer and then after losing his entire unit in World War I, even though he was decorated with the Medal of Honor, Junuh was completely lost and taken out, still stuck on the battlefield.  A chance to find his way back to the game comes a decade later to play against two great golfers, Bobby Jones and Walter Hagan.  Along comes Bagger Vance, played by Will Smith.  A simple looking man, who just happened to walk up one night and offered Junuh his services a caddie. It was on from that point and the work began to restore Junuh, not to who he was, but to who he was meant to be.

There’s something very mystical about this movie and one thing that John Eldredge shared at Wild at Heart was that Bagger Vance, in this movie, is the image of the Holy Spirit, looking to restore Junuh to his true self and finding his place in the field, or as we would say, finding himself in Christ.  Bagger counsels and guides Junuh in just the way I see the Holy Spirit working on us in restoring our union with the Father and the Son.  It’s really quite something to see and think about.  Follow-me a little here as I share this.

When Junuh first starts to play in the tournament.  He is terrible and falls 12 strokes behind Jones and Hagan.  He looks to Bagger for help and Bagger offers him little help.  He asks Bagger, “Any ideas?” when Junuh is in a bunker.  Bagger says, “huh..about what?”  Junuh frustrated, just grabs a club and Bagger says, “Yeah, that’s a good one there.”  At this point, Junuh is completely relying on himself.  thinking he can just get back to the way things were.  His game would return to the glory it once was.  Bagger leaves him alone in this self-reliance and Junuh pays for it as his game suffers.  After the round, Bagger tells him, “The Junuh you was, you ain’t never gonna be again; ever.”

This is just how I see the Holy Spirit working in us and restoring us when we are taken out and lost.  Often times we try to get ourselves back on our own.  That’s exactly what I did.  Thinking I could just find my way, find my motivation in life and career again.  I wasted 3 years in doctorate studies and went to different seminars looking for motivation, but nothing doing.  Trying to make it on my own didn’t get me anywhere but back to square one.  This is much the same way that Junuh found himself way behind.

In much the same way as the Holy Spirit, at just the right moment, Bagger says, it’s time.  Time to see the field.  Time find our swing.  Time to find our true self.  Time to find our authentic self and to be who we were created to in Christ.  To “put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” Ephesians 4:24.  Through the next parts of the movie, Junuh leans completely on Bagger, listening to him and all of a sudden, his game returned and he found confidence in himself to maybe win this tournament against to of the worlds greatest golfers.

At one point, Junuh’s old self returns and he becomes over confident in himself again and his game began to crash back down.  At the moment of most desperation, when Junuh is retrieving his ball in the woods, Bagger digs right in.  Takes him back to the moment he lost himself on that battlefield.  Telling him it’s time to let that go.  He says he’s right there with him and that he’s been there all along. Time to let the field choose him and bring out his true, authentic self, but all we have to do is get ourselves out of its way.  In the same way, Christ is choosing us and wants to restore us, if we will get out of our own way and let Him in.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me” Revelation 3:20.  Jesus is there knocking, and ready to come in an restore us.  The Holy Spirit will be there to guide us through the whole thing.  It’s not an easy road and often times, it will be a painful one when we are brought back to the wounds and sins that took us out in the first place.

Jesus came into my heart and restored me over 9 months ago.  The Holy Spirit was with me over the last many years since I was lost and taken out.  He allowed me to go through it on my own at first, but at just the right time, caused me to throw my hand up in that Bible Study to admit I was doing things alone.  Caused me to venture outside my comfort level and head west for a few days. Then when I was at my moment of sheer desperation and pain, Jesus came into those wounds, having already chosen me, but I got out of His way and no longer relied myself.  It was all about Him and His choosing at that point and I’ve been following ever sense.

God wants to restore each and every one of us.  He choose each of us to put on our new nature of Christ.  We just have to get ourselves out of the way and let Him come in to restore us.  He’s there with us all along. He showed me that and just has Bagger told Junuh, “I’ve been right here with you all along.”  He has never given up on us and is waiting on us to open the door.

It’s A Daily Battle

I have realized that we are a world at war, but this past weekend it really hit me that we are locked in battle not just occasionally, but every single day. It’s unrelenting. The enemy tries to take us out in ways you would not think about.  I know I have written about spiritual warfare a few times.  At Wild At Heart Boot Camp, it was definitely touched on significantly.  Spiritual Warfare is a part of our daily life and will find us no matter where we are.  A friend I met at Boot Camp who has been attending Ransomed Heart events for some time explained that what we retain about 20% while at Boot Camp and the remaining 80% comes after.  I have found that to be true so far as my heart continues to be filled with all I have learned and I immerse in Scripture and prayer each day.

The spiritual warfare and the issue with our daily battles came through and hit me hard this past weekend and in the most subtle way.  I began the day like normal with working out and then diving into Scripture.  I am currently studying through book of Ephesians.  There’s a story behind that, which I’ll get into another time, but God led me to dive into Ephesians.  I was a little rushed on Saturday morning to get out of the house as we had  a field workday for my son’s high school baseball team and then they had an inner-squad scrimmage.  Beautiful day and a great time with our baseball family.  Something lingered however.  Due to rushing, I did not make the time I wanted to journal and really dive into prayer like I try to each day.

Again, did not think too much of this at the time, but as the day wore on I kept getting thoughts in my head about not doing so.  I was constantly having to deflect agreements with the enemy about my commitment to God and to my spiritual growth.  I kept hearing thoughts like, “see, you don’t have the endurance for this race. You’re not committed.”  I had to fight that and it bothered me.  I had to step back from that and renounce those agreements.  It hurt to hear those thoughts.  When you get those negative feelings, it’s easy to just agree and say yes, that’s right.

On Sunday morning, I took more time to dive into this thought in my Scripture reading and thinking about the spiritual warfare we face.  The enemy is literally trying to take us out every single day.  There is no hiding from this. Think about it.  Jesus had to encounter spiritual warfare consistently.  Look at Matthew 4 and his time in the wilderness and being tempted by Satan.  It was a relentless battle.  I was listening to a audio session from John Eldredge and he referenced this and the fact that this was Jesus’s private battle.  No body was with Him.  However, God felt it important enough to share.  Part of the reason would seem to be that this is a serious issue we all face and even Jesus had to face this.  Being taunted and tempted for being the Son of God.  Jesus warned us about the enemy coming like a thief coming steal, kill, and destroy.  It is very real.

So in dealing with this daily battle, what do we do.  First, we need to readily recognize that it exists.  We cannot live in our own little worlds where nothing happens.  Simply does not work that way.  We have to be immersed in prayer and in God’s Word to be ready to deal with each days battle.  In Ephesians 4:23, Paul says, “Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.”  We have to allow the Holy Spirit to empower us and prepare for the onslaught to come. In Ephesians 6:11-12 he says, “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against the strategies of the devil.  For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies,  but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against might powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”

It’s all right there.  Spiritual warfare is a daily part of our life.  This past Saturday, was probably my first real bought with it since Wild At Heart and really recognizing it for what it was.  On Monday, it hit me even harder and it was a unrelenting battle.  Amber and I are making some changes to our room to give us an area to sit and read or pray or what have you, which I am all about.  On Monday, while I was working she began the process of moving stuff and cleaning the space.  Then it hit me out of nowhere.  I was filled with this resentment and anger for some reason about it and it just kept on for a few hours.  The enemy was digging at me and it was all total B.S. and I had to fight that back.  I know this won’t be the last time either.

We have to arm ourselves everyday.  We have to lean to God and keep our hope and faith in the promise of Christ Jesus.  A.W. Tozer said, “Christ in you, the hope of glory. I’m not afraid of the devil. The devil can handle me – he’s got judo I never heard of. But he can’t handle the One to whom I’m joined; he can’t handle the One to whom I’m united; he can’t handle the One whose nature dwells in my nature. “

Satan cannot handle the One whose nature dwells in us.  By that, I’d say we are victorious already in Him.  We need need to resist the devil and choose God first always.  The victory is in choosing to resist and the outcome is up to God.  There are unseen spiritual forces and if don’t resist, who will.  If we turn from our faith and let evil win, just imagine where you would be.  We are victorious in Christ, so it’s in him our hope rests.  Recognize the battles for what they are every day. Don’t deny they exist or you will be taken out quickly.  Choose to resist and let the Holy Spirit arm you with the armor of God that comes through faith in Christ.

Is Your Heart Thirsty?

This week, I began reading a book called “The Sacred Romance – Drawing Closer to the Heart of God”  This book was written by Brent Curtis and John Eldredge.  Now, for those that have followed my writing, you will notice that I often quote information from Ransomed Heart Ministries and books from John Eldredge and others.  While I just started this book, I felt prompted already to begin sharing.  I look forward to uncovering what else they have in this book and I’m sure I’ll be motivated to share more as I go along.   I don’t do this to copy what they doing, but I do this because I believe God has called me many times over to reach other men and beyond in their own pursuit of knowing God’s purpose for their life and pursuing life in way that is close to God and glorifies Him daily.  That’s what we are all meant to do.  To glorify God in all we do, whether the outcomes are good or bad, we have to give glory to Him.

Now in this book, the very first chapter speaks to the promptings of God through the Holy Spirit.  How He speaks with us throughout our lives to help guide our actions and where we go.  Any of you ever hear that small voice inside telling you that you need to listen to your heart because their’s something more?  It asks you if you’re thirsty for something more.  I certainly have.  No, it’s not a midlife crisis.  It’s prompting from the Holy Spirit saying letting you know that your were purposed for more.  There is something missing.

Often times, when we hear that voice, we brush it aside because we have so much more going on in our crazy lives.  We don’t have time for those thoughts.  However, later it comes back again.  You continue to hear it nag at you, so to speak.  It’s trying to get your attention until you finally stop and pay attention and decide to take action.  This voice is calling you to more.  Calling you to a life that walks closer to the heart of God.  God is always pursuing us.  The Holy Spirit, whether we walk with God daily or not, will always be there to try to get our attention.

Listen closely.  That voice will speak to you at varying times.  It may be in the middle of the night when you’re farthest away from the busy life you have during the day.  It could be at anytime.  Stop and listen.  God is talking you.  Yes, you.  He wants everyone of us to draw closer to His heart and walk in His purpose.  He wants all of us to be contagious for His Kingdom and share the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ.  He wants all of us to fully come alive through glorifying Him and purposing the purpose He created us for.  When we choose to change course and pursue a life that aligns to God’s purpose for you, you will see a great difference in your own life.

When the Holy Spirit asked if I was thirsty for more, the answer was most definitely yes.  “Thirsty hearts are those whose longings have been wakened by the touch of God within them.” – A.W. Tozer.  God has wakened me and where I am going.  I’ve chosen to plant the seeds and start on the path He called me for.  I pray that each one of you will do the same in your own lives.  Listen to the voice within.  Don’t let the craziness of this world cloud you and keep you from seeing what God purposed you for and what your calling is.   Maybe it is time for a big change to come.  Will you be strong and courageous enough to pursue it?  Are you still thirsty?

Let The Spirit Work Through You

Do you ever recognize that feeling that God is using you for a purpose?  That feeling comes where you feel like you are being called to something bigger than you have ever faced before.  It is quite a feeling and many of us meet that calling in different ways.  Some embrace it and let the Spirit guide them while others chose to maybe stay on the sideline and not act.  That choice can come from fear of the unknown or lack of faith in where you are being guided.

There are also those times where you may feel that you are not being guided or you are just not sure what it is God wants you to do.  These feelings may come in times of uncertainty.  Maybe career disappointments, challenges with your family, or any of a number of other things.  Maybe you were pursuing a career opportunity you hoped and prayed would pan out.  Then at the end it does not pan out and you are left wondering what next.  My brother Rob, said something to me yesterday that was pretty powerful.  We recognize God’s hand during those joyous times, but we often fail to realize that even in those times of what may be disappointment, it is really the God’s hand sheltering you.  Maybe protecting you from what may not be a good road or maybe he is just not ready for you to move just yet.  Believe me, when He is ready for you to move, He will move you.

Life presents so many challenges and also so many reasons to celebrate.  We were created for God’s purpose, so the best thing that any of us can do is to get out of our own way and let His Spirit work through us.  We allow that to take place and we will be guided to where we were meant to be.  It may be a bumpy road.  It may be filled with many trials, but you will be that much stronger for it in the end.  St. Francis of Assisi is quoted as saying, “If God can work through me, He can work through anyone.”  That’s just another example of how important each of us are.  We all have part to play if we just let the Spirit work.  The Holy Spirit is always here to guide us.  Paul said in Romans 8:26, “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.”

So what stops you from opening up to God’s plan and letting Him work through you.  It may not always be evident, but He is always at work in our lives.  I’ve seen in through my family and friends and in my overall outlook of life and faith.  If you close off from God’s purpose for you, how can you ever expect t come alive fully.  Our spiritual growth is the foundation of who we are.  Without it, nothing will matter.

SpiritofPower

Isn’t The Lord Simply Amazing?!?!?

We’ve all heard that term, “The Lord works in mysterious ways.”  It’s amazing just how true and real that statement is.  I’ve learned throughout my life that He works in ways we just don’t see coming often times.  Maybe its through a tragedy.  Often times we may wonder what God is doing when something bad happens.  What I have learned though, is that those things happen in order to give us a chance to return to Him and glorify Him more.  It also allows us to gain strong glimpses of His goodness when he moves others to work.

My family and I received a wonderful view of this in the past couple of days.  My son, Brandon, was diagnosed as a Type 1 Diabetic this past fall.  Obviously, with all of that comes added costs of buying insulin, monitors, test strips, and doctor follow-ups.  It was certainly a challenging time frame for the family and most certainly my son as he has learned to live this new life as diabetic.  He has adjusted to this so much better than I could have ever hoped though and does not let it run his life.  In fact, he was named by our local Children’s Healthcare system as their Comeback Athlete of the Month and now is being voted on for Athlete of the Year.  He is a competitive travel baseball player and did not let it stop him at all.

With that said, this week, at our doorstep, there was delivered a whole host of diabetic supplies.  A new monitor, test strips, needles, and more and will be replenished every three months at no cost to us.  Someone, somewhere put our name in to this Christian Foundation that is now supplying these supplies on going.  I can’t even begin to tell you what an amazing blessing that was to our family.  To know that a substantial portion of this permanent cost is now covered is simply amazing.

This was just further proof of God’s amazing and mysterious work.  It is quite evident that His Spirit moved through someone to do something that we never saw coming and was a tremendous blessing to our family.  We are so grateful to this mysterious person and recognize that this was God’s work.

If you ever have a doubt that God is not at work in your lives.  Think again.  He is very much there through every aspect of our lives.  He has a purpose for everything He does and that we encounter in life.  Challenges come to Glorify Him and wonderful things happen to Glorify Him.  It all comes back to God.  Don’t lose site of the Lord and take time to speak to Him through prayer.  he will intervene in your life.  Many times in ways you never see coming.  He is always there and I am so thankful to have a God that loves us that much and whose glory shines down everyday in our lives.