Suddenly (Life Has New Meaning to Me)

Has your life ever changed for the better in a single moment? Maybe something you’ve longed for is realized and your heart is no longer sick by deferred hope. Someone you thought was lost is miraculously found and restored to you. The doctor reports, “we got it all.” Even receiving that voicemail stating, “you got the job.” I hope it has. And I hope it will again.

King Hezekiah was made king when he was 25, living all those years under his father, Ahaz, a bad king, who, incidentally, most likely killed his brother by making him pass through the fire, an idolatrous offering to demons. Most kids grow up and basically follow in the patterns of their parents, especially royal children. There is a standard, an expectation, and it is hard to buck the system. There’s also pride and vanity which further cloud issues pertaining to governance. Thankfully, Hezekiah’s mother saved him from sharing his brother’s unfortunate fate, and his heart was to follow Almighty God as he ruled the nation.

As I write this, I’m struck by the immediacy of two things: 1) The brand new (and somewhat young) king to implement radical, practical, cultural, spiritual changes in the very first year of his reign, and 2) how quickly God responded. 2 Chronicles 29:36 wraps up the story of putting the temple worship back in proper order under Hezekiah’s command and how “Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced because God had provided for the people, for the thing came about suddenly.”

Part of what intrigues me about these scriptures is that God may just show up immediately, vouching, affirming, and blessing our immediate repentant and obedient intimations toward Him. This flies in the face of that lie, “I’ve done too much wrong, too much water under the bridge, to be forgiven and accepted by God.” For YEARS, these same people had done wrong, being led (and following) a corrupt and evil king. Yet the new and godly king starts putting things right in the very first year of his reign. And God not only provides for the people, but does so suddenly! By His swift action, we discover that God will show up for you in a hot minute, once you decide to follow Him (or follow Him again).

Did it take work? Yes. Did it require strength and leadership? Yes. It reminds me of a favorite scripture of mine from the opening line of Deborah’s song in Judges 5:2 (NKJV), “When leaders lead in Israel, When the people willingly offer themselves, Bless the Lord!”

Not only do we bless The Lord… HE BLESSES RIGHT BACK!!!

So this all begs an important practical question for your life… “Do I believe God will show up suddenly?” If not, what is our faith (or lack thereof) revealing? I do not believe God will ________. In the gospel of John, we see Jesus instructing His followers to “ask in My name,” promising that whatever it is, “I will do it for you.” Strong words… but they’re spoken by our Faithful and True Savior, Jesus. They are worthy of believing. Only by believing them can you experience the truth of them. Faith unlocks everything… even tightly, worldly locked things. Jesus has ALL the keys. Your faith unlocks your “suddenly.” Remember, “he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” – Hebrews 11:6 NKJV

Your faith unlocks your “suddenly.”

Harvester of Hearts

The ultimate Harvester, the One who recognized ripe harvests when He saw them, is also the One who commissions every follower of His to get out there immediately and start reaping it. Jesus is the premiere crop inspector and He knows precisely when to harvest, when to reap. He also knows when to till the ground (in prayer), plant seeds (of The Word), water them (with encouragement), and see people be moved to action (by His Holy Spirit) so they can be won into the Kingdom of God.

How often do people who fancy themselves followers of Christ miss the entire harvest of hearts simply because we don’t see the harvest as ripe, the fields as white, the people as ready. Jesus says, “people are absolutely ready to be invited (harvested, reaped, plucked out of darkness and drawn into light) by you, and your testimony, and your bold invitation.

In order to see how Jesus sees, we need a wake-up call, and Someone to direct our vision, attention and focus on this perfectly ripe harvest right in front of us.

Incidentally, praying for that discernment is part of His will and plan for you to discover your place and destiny, day by day… so don’t delay in asking Him for success in harvesting. Expect to hear God respond to you as you pray for direction who you are meant to reach, where they are, and when is best to go to them (in the soon/now timeframe).

One primary harvest field that is ripe for the picking is the young. Here’s why:

98% of professing Christians make that decision by the time they are 29 years old.

65% decide by the time they are 18. The data suggest the most profoundly massive and fruitful harvest field possible is the young. Perhaps God will lead you to pray at/over your kid’s school – or just the nearest school to you. We’ve adopted the schools in our city – and will see God move powerfully throughout a full instructional year of weekly prayer gatherings at school campuses. Our obedience opens the door for God to move how He intends. You must remember that city-changing moves of God are released by your diligent “yes.”

Other oft-ignored ripe harvest fields are among the poor, the international, the prisoners, and the sick. Consider asking God specifically about any of these areas and see if He stirs your heart to engage with any of these overlooked populations of lovable, redeemable people. Jesus wants us all. Do you?

Your Podcast Is Served

If you would rather listen to the material than watch it, please feel free to enjoy the podcast version, available now. I feel compelled to give you the links to all the places we serve up this podcast, despite any podcast listener knowing exactly how to search and obtain the podcast you want on your preferred platform. But, hey… we go the distance here, soooo…..

Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Anchor, Breaker, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic

Here are the newest episodes, just in case you require a little taste before you commit… (How DOES he do it?)

If you love the Word of God and want more of it in your life, you’ve come to the right place. We are happy @toservemankind.

Back In The High Life… Again

Do you ever read in the Bible about all the kings from the Old Testament and view them in a certain way, because of what they either did or did not do for The Lord?

Today, we focus on Asa, because he was one of the top kings in a long line of despicable kings… who were all meant to rule over God’s people in a godly way. While Asa reigned fairly well, and loved God with all his heart, he still missed some things, which would eventually cost him his life.

I want better for you, so today I serve you a message that will help you tear down any high place in your life that has been allowed to eclipse God’s supremacy.

We read about how Asa was inclined toward God, loved The Lord, and has a reputation as a good king, who was honorable to God. What we also have is someone with more good plans from God than he actually did. Maybe he didn’t get around to it and may have done it had he lived longer. We’ll never know. How would it be if we just made an agreement to simply obey God immediately? I think that is a good plan.

The high places were not removed. The Holy Spirit chose to ensure that was in the Bible whenever it was true, because there is a strong message there… THE HIGH PLACES ARE TO BE REMOVED! These idolatrous sites for demonic worship should have never existed in the first place, but ungodly people do ungodly things and the rest of us earnest, godly people have a responsibility to fix it… especially those given leadership and authority. So, like Asa, we find ourselves “back in the high life again,” with idolatry in our land. Regardless of how these high places got established, they do not deserve and must not be allowed to remain. God has given each of us His Word and will along with the authority to align our lives and culture with His will. Frankly, He expects us to do it. He’s empowered us to do it. You can do it…. So DO IT!

Stop allowing any “high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.”

Pull down every demonic stronghold, cast down every demonic argument as well as every high thing erected against God, and bring every thought of yours into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Be very afraid if you’ve found yourself back in the high life again… and then dig yourself out of it by living out 2 Corinthians 10:4-5.

Following the video, you may want to ask yourself a couple questions:

  1. What is still left that God has given you to do that you haven’t yet done?
  2. What have you put in that place that keeps you from accomplishing God’s plan for you?
  3. Who is going to take the high places down in your city, or your neighborhood, or your home, or your heart?

You Probably Think This Blog Is About You

Anyone read Ecclesiastes from Solomon but all you can think about is that Carly Simon song, “You’re So Vain?” Maybe it’s just me. But all this “all is vanity and grasping for the wind,” talk from ‘The Preacher’ feels either depressing or like an attack on what you and I likely give the majority of our lives to. Perhaps this is why he continues dispensing deeply encouraging nuggets like, “I hated life,” which leaves many wondering, “well, what is my life worth” then? Is my life worthless? Am I living it in vain?

The Holy Spirit affirms, by its inclusion in the scriptures, that there is something to this. After all, “All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable…” 2 Timothy 3:16 Why this is important is that, since Solomon’s words are so depressing and hopeless, we have to dig deeper to discover what God wants us to know from Solomon relating his experience. If we don’t spend enough time in the Word and prayer to figure that out, people are left with no good options, wondering themselves, “why even live?” Surely God doesn’t want us to despair of life. He does provide answers. This is precisely the reason I’ve prepared this for you.

Sure, life is all vanity and grasping for the wind… even still, God has perfect, hopeful, helpful, eternal plans for you as you live it.

What are we meant to make of these Scriptures we know to be true, that have been inspired by God, and are profitable to us for living godly lives? We serve up the answer in “What Is My Life Worth?”

Referenced in the video are the 7 BFAM Secrets:

#1 PRAY for direction and power
#2 HEAL with the gospel and miracles
#3 FIND persons of peace
#4 DISCOVER God through His Word
#5 PLANT reproducing churches
#6 GROW by walking with God
#7 MULTIPLY disciples and churches