April 11, 2009
When you watch your favorite sports team and they score, how do you react? My wife is an avid Red Sox fan. She has Red Sox stickers, flags and comforters all over the house. She wears socks, t-shirts and sweat shirts that bear the Red Sox logos. The color of her car is red with Red Sox stickers all over it! When she comes home from work she sits on the couch with her Red Sox comforter on her lap while reading the newspaper or watching the news.
Life around our house is rather ordinary, that is until baseball season begins. Then it’s all about the Red Sox! As she watches the game when someone makes a tremendous catch or hits a home run, she comes alive! The chips fly everywhere as she screams with joy for the victory. It’s not the Red Sox team that scored, its’ “our team” that scored. She is so engrossed in the game, that she actually feels that she is part of the baseball team! I believe she actually thinks she is sitting in the dugout along with the baseball team during the game.
Friends, if sports fans can get so excited about their favorite team with abandoned passion to expresses the thrill of victory, how much more should we not be joyful in glory for the victory that we have in Christ? Why is life so mundane and worship so “sobering” when Christ has won the victory for us at Calvary? He has risen and sits at the right hand of the Father as Lord of Lords and King of Kings. Because He lives, we live also. In His presence we experience the thrill of victory. This is the sound of joy that David knew when He declared,
You are a mighty arm, strong is your hand, and high is your right hand. Justice and judgment are our habitation and your throne: mercy and truth shall go before your face. Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound, they shall walk O Lord, in the light of your countenance. In your name shall they rejoice all the day long, for you are the glory of their strength and in your favor our horn is exalted. For the Lord is our defenses and the Holy One of Israel is our King (Ps. 89:17-1).
When you come boldly before the Lord and enter into His presence, the Lord’s strength comes into you and suddenly, you know the joyful sound. Because of God’s Spirit that sets you free, you resound with the thrill of victory. God is a victorious God! In His presence there is only faith, divine love, peace and joy. He wants to impregnate His people with the Spirit of might to empower them to live in His resurrection power and life. My prayer for you is,
That He would grant to you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man (Eph. 3:16).
God wants to strengthen your inner man with the Spirit of might. This is the courage of God that empowers His people to know Him as both the Lamb of God and the Lion of Judah. God is not only a merciful God that is full of compassion, but He is a mighty warrior. He wants you to have both natures – that of the Lamb and that of the Lion. The Lion is the King of the jungle. He is not being hunted but is the hunter. God is anointing His people with the Spirit of might to prevail over all of their enemies. You are strong in the Lord when you are filled with His living presence. If it’s one thing that the Church needs today, it is for their inner man to be strengthened with His Spirit of might that they might live an overcoming victorious life!
Redeem the Time
This year is we are slowing down our activities to draw closer to the Lord for intimacy and fellowship. It is from this place of intimacy that we are empowered for anointed ministry. Then with heart of God, as we are in step with Him, we begin to do all things with Him, not for Him. This is why the adversary often attacks our time. He does this by having us engage in needless “activities” that consumes our time and energy and church programs that we call ministry. It’s time to move on- we are being called to move onward and upward. As we are joyful in our King, His glory will lead us onward and upward as a cloud by day and a fire by night.
The scriptures tell us how to redeem the time, which means you obtain more time by taking the time to connect with God to be filled with the Holy Spirit. When you worship the Lord and walk in step with Him, as you align your heartbeat with His, you will accelerate in all that you do by the grace and divine favor of the Lord who goes before you to work on your behalf. The choice is ours; do we walk through the day with Him or without Him?
See that you walk not as fools, but as those who are wise. Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore, be not unwise but understand what the will of the Lord is….be filled with the Holy Spirit. Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart unto the Lord. Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Eph. 5:16-20).
Within this scripture is the key to being filled with the Holy Spirit. You are filled daily by singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks FOR ALL THINGS unto God. Who gets under your skin? Who bothers you the most? Most likely this is the person that God is using to perfect you to be thankful for them. He wants you to love them the way He does. When you are thankful for them and you praise God in the midst of your trials and tribulations, soon you will experience God’s love for them. This is what changes your perspective on life – His love. See the world as He does. Friends, it’s a glorious view!
You walk in the Spirit when you walk in love. The call is to return to our first love and let our hearts rise daily to Him. In the book of Revelation Jesus addressed the Church at Ephesus. He tells them that He saw their great works, their faith and the wonderful church programs they had and how they hate those that are hypocrites. And yet, despite all their good works and church programs and ministries, He tells them,
Nevertheless, I have something against you, because you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen and repent and do the first works; or else I will come unto you quickly and remove your candlestick out of his place except you repent (Rev. 2:4-5).
God does not measure our success by how many people attend our church or how fast we are growing, now how great our church programs are or how effective we are in our communities. God is not impressed with our beautiful church buildings or traditions. God measures our success by how close we walk with Him. As he told the Church at Ephesus, unless we return to our first love, which is the Lord Jesus Christ, and do all things from the place of intimacy, he will remove His light (His anointing and presence) from among us.
To fellowship with God is our most precious gift and the Lord Jesus Christ is our most prized possession. He is our destiny and purpose, He is our life. If we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us. The apostle John tells us that God is love and He that dwells in love dwells in God and God in Him. (1 John 4:16) Our highest call is to dwell in God and His love. Then we will become a shining light that radiates with the glory of Christ. The call today is to rise and shine to be a glorious light in the midst of darkness. I would like to close with Is. 60:1-2,
“Arise and shine, for your light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon you, and His glory shall be seen upon you.
In His heart and love