REVIVAL FIRE ©

I’m tired of being lukewarm in my service for Thee.

I’m tired of not standing up for my King.

Others are dying and need your grace.

They need to be set free from their captivity!

Send your revival fire!  Burn in me!

Revival fire burn!  Blaze in me!

Purify my soul, clothe me in righteousness.

Anoint my head with oil,

Touch my lips with the coals from the altar.

I long for another Pentecost.

May the fire of your Spirit burn in me.

Here is your church,

We need your fire to fall and your power

To trample Satan and his evil schemes.

Release in us your energy to take back

What Satan stole from us.

Send your revival fire!  Burn in us!

Revival fire burn!  Blaze in us!

Purify our souls, clothe us in righteousness.

Anoint our heads with oil.

Touch our lips with the coals from the altar.

We long for another Pentecost.

May the fire of your Spirit burn in us!

This is a song I wrote…
 
We want to feel your presence ©
 
Our hearts are broken,
Our hope is fading fast.
We need a revival like the ones
We heard of in the past.
Your Spirit moving,
People on their knees,
Lives being changed,
Salvation at last….
 
Chorus:
We want to feel Your Presence
We want to know You’re near
‘cause in Your presence
There’s nothing to fear.
Please hold us close and
Wipe away the tears.
Let Your Glory be known
We want You here.
 
Forgive us our sins,
We turned away from You.
We have been selfish, idolaters, untrue.
We are ashamed,
Desperate, hungry,
Lonely, afraid,
But our answer is in You.
 
Chorus:
We want to feel Your Presence
We want to know You’re near
‘cause in Your presence
There’s nothing to fear.
Please hold us close and
Wipe away the tears.
Let Your Glory be known
We want You here.
 
Spoken:
If my people would humble themselves and pray,
I will hear from heaven and forgive their sins
And heal their land….
Lord, please hear the cries of our heart,
We need You Jesus, come near!
 
Chorus:
We need to feel Your presence
We need to know You’re near.
‘Cause in Your presence,
There’s nothing to fear.
Please hold us close
And wipe away the tears.
Let Your Glory be known
We need You here.
(Repeat Chorus)

Undignified! ©

Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.

I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes.

-2 Samuel 6:14-15, 22a

Have you ever danced wildly before the Lord? What about a sway or raising your hands in church? If we were completely honest, the majority of us would be too afraid.

Dancing in church is acceptable for some and for some reason not others. In Africa, many dance with tambourines and hand flags. Pentecostal churches are known for dancing and being charismatic in their show of adoration of the Lord.

However, in the majority of churches, I have seen, people do not dance, raise their hands, or sway. On the odd occasion, a ballet style dance or a few flags flown are a part of a special “piece” in the service. The general rule is that dancing or hand raising is not allowed in churches. We have to be solemn, respectful and staid in church.

In 2 Samuel, chapter 6, David is seen dancing wildly before the Lord. David had just won victory over the Philistines, where the ark of the covenant was being held, and he received the ark back to be taken to its rightful place. However, when the Israelites took the ark, they placed it on a cart instead of using poles to carry it according to God’s law. A man named Uzzah tried to steady the ark with his hand when the oxen stumbled. No one was allowed to touch the ark, therefore, Uzzah was struck dead.

David was at first angry with God for striking Uzzah dead. However, the anger turned into fear. David was afraid to take the ark any further. He instead took it to Obed-edom’s house, where it stayed for three months. While the ark was there, Obed-edom and his family were blessed.

David heard about the blessings and decided it was time to take the ark back to the city of Jerusalem where it belonged. When David and his people went to retrieve the ark, he rejoiced before the Lord and made a sacrifice before Him.

David was dressed in a linen ephod which was white and thin. In fact, it was so thin he was practically naked. David was dancing wildly in the street half naked with the people of Jerusalem.

As he came through the street, his former wife, Michal was watching the parade. She became angry and despised David for dancing before the Lord and being almost naked.

David and the people brought the ark to a tent he had erected. He offered sacrifices and offerings before the Lord. Afterwards, he blessed the people who were there. They ate some food and went back to their homes.

David went to bless his own household, but Michal, came out to meet him. She was livid. She thought he was honoring himself. She fussed at him about being half naked with the women servants around seeing him.

David quickly responded and told her he was dancing before the Lord who appointed him over Israel. He said to her he will celebrate before the Lord at any time and will be even more undignified than this!

The difference between David and the majority of us, is he was not afraid of what other people thought of him, including his former wife. He rejoiced and celebrated before the Lord with dancing.

I am not in any way saying we should go dancing half-naked in the streets or in our churches! What a mighty stir that would cause.

First, we should not be afraid of what other people think of us, especially when we are worshipping and praising the Lord. When we worship, we should have our eyes focused on God and not on those around us.

Second, may we not be like Michal judging others who raise their hands or bop up and down while praising the Lord. Those people are not doing it for show (although I do understand some may and have done so).

If we are worried about what others think, our focus is not on God, but them. Likewise, if we are judging others for what they are doing, our focus is not on God either.

God loves our praise. He blesses those whose focus and praise is on him.

We all have different ways of praising the Lord. My prayer is we all will be undignified when it comes to showing God our passion, affection, and adoration. I pray we will not be afraid of what others think.

I promise you that in heaven it won’t matter how we praise him. There will be dancing in the streets and shouts of joy all the time. Our affections will be upon Jesus and not on those around us.

The next time we desire to dance before God, imagine yourself in heaven with Jesus standing there. It’s just us and him.

Now dance!

Be undignified!

Praise the Lord for he is worthy of our praise!

Let Go and Let God! ©

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” –Matthew 11:28-30
 
God is saying to you and me today to “Lay down our burdens. We’re carrying burdens that we don’t need to bear. Give them to Him for He cares for us.” When we do give them up, we will experience great freedom within our relationship with Him.
 
Jesus tells us to come to Him when we are weary and tired. He realizes that we are prone to carry heavy loads and that we tend to try to do things in our own strength. However, He promises us that if we give Him our burdens and cares, He will give us rest and a load that is much easier to carry. Sometimes we carry around burdens that really do matter. However, most of the time, we carry extra and unnecessary baggage around. David talks about his guilt weighing him down and being overwhelming (see Psalm 38:4).
2 Corinthians 5:4 says: “While we live in this body, we have burdens and we groan.”
 
We do not want to be naked, but we want to be clothed with our heavenly home. Then this body that dies will be fully covered with life. – It is human nature to groan about our burdens. We know that there is a better life beyond this. Whilst we are here on earth, we are not exempt from burdens. It’s because we desire to be clothed with life.
 
Peter tells us in 1 Peter 5:7- “Give all your worries to Him, because He cares about us.” God has a plan for us, a great race for us to run. We will go places where we never thought that we would and we will serve in many ways that we could have never dreamed.
 
However, burdens hinder us from fulfilling what the Bible describes as our responsibility to care for others. God desires for us to show mercy, kindness, and gentleness to others. Help the weak, comfort others as we have been comforted, care for the interests of others and help with other’s troubles.
 
If we want to be truly free, we must give our everything to God. Give Him our burdens and cares. Allow Him to give us His load which is far lighter than ours. For the sake of our God we serve, let it go. For the sake of those we love, let it go. For the sake of our own joy and the joy of others, let it go. God is saying to us, “Lay it all down, children, let it go and I’ll carry the heavy load.”
 
Deuteronomy 33:12 says “The Lord’s loved ones will lie down in safety because He protects them all day long. The ones He loves rest with Him.” Notice what God tells His children here; we can lie down in safety, God protects us whilst resting in Him, and the ones God loves rest with Him.
 
Sometimes we find this very difficult to do because we are so used to carrying our own burdens. But Jesus says in John chapter 8, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed!” If He promises us that we will be free in Him if we give our burdens to Him, would we not want to live in that freedom? What are some things that may be hindering that freedom within our lives? May it be stubbornness, pride, or even fear? It’s not easy to let go and let God take complete control of everything. It’s like a prisoner that is held in a ball and chain, being set free, but not willing to take off the chains. What chains are holding us back to being all that God desires us to be?
 
God wants us to let go of the old man. Let go of worldly desires, such as uncleanness, passion for worldly things, evil desire, covetousness, malice, blasphemy, filthy language, and lying. Let go of the guilt from the past. Let go of the troubles that wear us down. Then God says to us, put on the new man, clothes of righteousness, etc. When we put on the things that God desires us to wear, to carry, etc. we will have the peace of God rule within our own hearts. People will see the difference within us and will be drawn to God through us.
 
The only way that we can put on godly attributes is to let go of the worldly and ungodly ones. Laying down our heavyweights of the world at the foot of the cross and allowing Jesus to carry them. When we do this, we will experience great freedom in Christ. Paul tells us in Galatians 5:13, “My brothers and sisters, God called you to be free, but do not use your freedom as an excuse to do what pleases your sinful self. Serve each other with love.”
 
Mary, like the rest, stood amazed at the appearance of Jesus in the room. She had been weeping since Friday when news of His capture and trial had reached her. Her heart had been pierced at the sight of Him, beaten almost beyond recognition. But a mother always knows her son. She had longed to run to His side, to clean the blood from His face, and soothe His tattered back. She had wanted to stand between Him and the Roman soldiers, protect Him from His persecutioners. When the nails had pierced his hands, she’d turned her eyes from the scene, but she’d stand her ground. She would not abandon this precious son, her gift from God. And though it had broken her heart, she’d stayed nearby until he was gone. She had seen Him dead. And yet here He was, alive! And in his resurrection, she found freedom. She was free from the approval of the temple leaders, free from all her little motherly worries about him, free from the tensions and sibling rivalries within her family, and free from the sorrow that had pierced her heart like a sword.
 
We too can all have this same freedom. If we are living in Christ, living in His power, putting on the clothes of righteousness, and letting go of all the burdens and weighty burdens we carry, we can experience freedom as Mary did: freedom from approval of the world and freedom from the heaviness that comes with carrying everything on our own.
 
Jesus invites us to drop all the baggage at the foot of the cross that we are carrying in this life. He doesn’t want us to keep trying to carry these burdens alone. If our hands are so full carrying this heavy load, we are not able to reach out to others in need. Worrying about life and all its troubles, not letting go and letting God will interfere with our ability to help others with their troubles. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free…. Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you are shall be free indeed!
 

Prayer of Adoration and Praise ©

1 Chronicles 16:8-36

Adoration is the spontaneous yearning of the heart to worship, honour, magnify and bless God.  God wants us to cherish Him, exalt His name, and focus on His goodness.  Adoration involves thanksgiving and praise.  Thanksgiving is giving glory to God for what He has done for us.  Praise is giving glory to God for who He is.  Psalm 35:18 says “I will give You thanks in the great assembly; among throngs of people I will praise You.”

Throughout history, praise and thanksgiving was prominent in Jewish worship.  Let’s have a look at 1 Chronicles 16 starting with verse 4.  David appointed different Levite priests to make petitions, give thanks and praise the Lord.  Asaph (a well- known psalmist) was made the chief of praise. The ones who were appointed were to praise God by playing the lyres and harps, Asaph to sound the cymbals, Benaiah and Jahaziel to blow the trumpets regularly.  David wrote a psalm of thanksgiving and gave it to Asaph and his associates to play (verses 8-36).   Look at verses 32-33: “Let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them!  Then the trees of the forest will sing, they will sing for joy before the LORD for He comes to judge the earth.”  Even creation praises the LORD their Creator.

In verse 29 it says to “Bring an offering and come before Him; worship the LORD in the splendor of His holiness.”  To worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness is a phrase that shows a close link between worship and the holiness of God that must lie at the center of the life of restored Israel and us Christians.

A thank offering was a prominent feature in Jewish worship.  “These are the regulations for the fellowship offering a person may present to the LORD: If he offers it as an expression of thankfulness, then along with this thank offering, he is to offer cakes of bread made without yeast and mixed with oil, wafers made without yeast and spread with oil, and cakes of fine flour well-kneaded and mixed with oil. Along with his fellowship offering of thanksgiving, he is to present an offering with cakes of bread made with yeast.  He is to bring one of each kind as an offering, a contribution to the LORD: it belongs to the priest who sprinkles the blood of the fellowship offerings” (Leviticus 7:11-14).

There are many scriptures that praise the Lord and invites us to do the same.  We cannot help but to praise the Lord as we read through the book of Psalms.

Another part of adoration is blessing.  Blessing is jubilant praise or in other words praise raised to the highest point.  Psalm 103:1 says “Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise the Lord.”

Many translations say “bless the Lord, O my soul.” But notice the words, “with all my inmost being praise the Lord.”  Blessing the Lord allows our whole self to be enveloped in His presence.

St. Augustine says “God thirsts to be thirsted after.”  He desires our praise.  He created us to praise Him.

Praising the Lord may be one of the easiest things we do in prayer, simply because that is how we were created.  However, there are obstacles that can get in the way of adoration.  The first is inattention.  How many times have we missed out on what God is saying to us because we were not listening? Even walking in the sunlight, how often do we miss the simpleness of a butterfly, a bird singing, the trees blowing in the breeze, or even the hum of a bee because we are too busy thinking of everything else?  We have to be careful not to miss out on the blessings of God because we weren’t listening to what He is saying.

The second obstacle is the wrong kind of attention.  We can find ourselves easily giving our attentions elsewhere.  Sometimes it is to our family members, our friends, our careers, our circumstances, etc.  We need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and not have our attentions drawn elsewhere.

Greed can be an obstacle.  Now this may sound a bit odd.  We know that greed is wrong, that we should not be desiring or trying to gain things for our own selfish desires.  But hear me out.  If we come to God just to receive something and that is the only time we worship, then that is considered greed.  We are coming out of selfish motives.  To truly adore God, we are to set aside ourselves to thank God for all He has done and to praise Him for Who He is.  We must come and worship in spirit and truth.  When our motives are pure, our praise and adoration will be like sweet music to God’s ears.

The last obstacle that may get in the way is conceit.  If things are going well for us, we may forget to worship God.  We may reason that all is good, I am good, life is good, I do not need God.  Sometimes we act as if we are all that and more because we go to church and sing hymns to God.  God looks at the heart, not at how good we can sing, or how wonderful we are to other people. We must come to God with pure motives.

So how do we praise the Lord on a daily basis?  Start simple. Thank God for the butterfly, the sunshine, the humming bee, the warm breeze, etc.  Take time to notice the world around us without analyzing everything.  Enjoy what God has given us and say thank you to Him for those things.  Put praise music on and sing along with the words.  Praise is a great weapon against the enemy!  You would be amazed at the difference it makes in your home when you listen and sing to praise and worship music and hymns.  We can clap, laugh, shout, sing and dance.  All we need to do is celebrate God!

Jesus’ Resurrection

I tried to sleep again last evening, however, I found it so hard to as I was thinking of Jesus being in the cold grave.  I rose early and got my spices and oils together that I had prepared on Friday night.  I, Mary the mother of James and John, Salome and Joanna went to the tomb carrying the spices we had prepared.  We went to anoint his body for proper burial.

As we were walking, we asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away for us?”  The stone was very heavy; it was made of rock.

Suddenly there was an earthquake.  We trembled in fear.  I began to cry again.  I couldn’t help myself, the past three days I did a lot of crying.

When we arrived at the tomb, the stone was rolled away!  There was an angel sitting on the stone whose face shone like lightning and his clothes were as white as snow.  The guards by the grave were lying on the ground.  The angel asked me “Why are you crying?”

“Because I have no idea where my Lord is?”

The angel said to us, “Don’t be afraid!  I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He isn’t here!  He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen.  Come, see where his body was lying.”

I walked into the tomb and sure enough, Jesus was not there! There were two angels sitting in the tomb, one at the foot and one at the head of the slab Jesus had laid on.  The angles said to me whilst I was inside, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here!  Remember what he told you in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and that he would rise again on the third day?”

I walked out of the tomb and the angel outside, said, “Now, go quickly and tell the disciples that Jesus has risen from the dead.  He is going ahead of you to Galilee.  You will see him there!”

I was in a daze, full of fear and joy.  I still hadn’t quite processed all has taken place.  All I knew is that Jesus was not in the tomb.  I wondered what had really happened to him.  I turned to leave and saw someone standing there.  He asked me, “Why are you crying? Who are you looking for?”

Thinking he was just a gardener I said, “Sir, do you know where Jesus was taken?  If you tell me, I will go and get him.”

“Mary!”  Jesus said.

I recognized that voice!  How beautiful! How wonderful! It was Jesus!  My heart skipped a beat!  I did not know what to say other than “Rabbani, which means teacher.”

I knelt before Jesus and the other ladies with me did as well.  We worshipped him. I finally got to tell him how much I loved him.  I wanted to hug him but he said, “Don’t cling to me for I haven’t ascended to the Father.  Go find my brothers and tell them I will see them.”

We ran back to the disciples in exuberant joy and fear.  We gave them message the angels told us and I said to them, “I have seen the Lord!  He even spoke to me!”

Sadly, the story sounded like nonsense to the disciples, so they didn’t believe it.  Peter however, jumped up and ran to the tomb to find it was empty with just the linen wrappings.  The cloth that covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying separate from the other wrappings.  Peter came back to us wondering what had happened.

In the evening, we were meeting behind locked doors because we were afraid of the Jewish leaders, especially if word got out about Jesus and the empty tomb.

While talking and sharing a meal together, Jesus suddenly appeared to us!

“Peace be with you,” he said.  He showed us with the wounds in his hands and side.  We were filled with joy!  Again, Jesus spoke to us, “Peace be with you.  As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”

Then Jesus breathed on us and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven.  If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

When Jesus breathed on me, I felt a tingling down my spine. My heart felt it was on fire. I felt like a whole new person. It was as if I had been reborn, made new again. All I wanted to do was shout out in praise!

He stayed talking with us for quite a while.  He left us suddenly as he came in.

I remembered the words Jesus said to Martha before he raised Lazarus from the dead and I share this with you to finish off my journal…

“I am the resurrection and the life.  Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.  Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die.  Do you believe this?”

I know for sure my Jesus is alive.  He lives and will live forevermore.  The question is, do you believe Jesus is alive?  If yes, then go.  Go and tell others about our amazing friend, Savior and Lord!

For further study:

Matthew 28:1-15; Mark 16:1-15; Luke 24:1-13; John 20:1-31

 

Promise of Comfort

As we sat together thinking over what happened the past couple of days, we chatted about things Jesus taught us.  The one thing that stuck with me is Jesus promised us comfort at the Passover meal.  I needed comfort.  The grief was unbearable.  I did nothing but cry and talk about all Jesus had done.   I shared with everyone what he said.

Jesus said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God, and trust in me.  There is more than enough room in my Father’s house.  If this were not so, would I have told you I was going to prepare a place for you?  When everything is ready, I will come and get you so you will always be with me.  And you know the way to where I am going.”

Thomas said to him, “Jesus, we have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one can come to the Father except through me.  If you know me, you know who my Father is.”

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”

Jesus answered, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am?  Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!  So why are you asking me to show him to you?”

We all discussed this and agreed we were crazy not to realize Jesus was who he said he was.  Why did we ever doubt him?  And now, he is not with us.  He is dead, in the dark cold grave and his body is not even anointed for burial yet.  We were not able to go after we prepared the spices and oils last night as Passover started and according to law, we are only supposed to rest, not do anything else.  Sadly, Jesus was just laid in the tomb wrapped in a simple linen sheet.

Jesus promised us, “If you love me, obey my commandments.  And I will ask my Father and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.  He is the Holy Spirit.  The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him.  But you know him, because he lives with you now and later, he will be in you.  I will not abandon you as orphans- I will come to you.  Soon the world will not see me, but you will.  When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me and I am in you.”

We then talked about what Jesus said to us before.  He said he will die and be raised back to life in three days.  He promised us he will be back.  We saw men and women raised back to life from the tombs that were shook open yesterday by the earthquake.  Truly if God allowed this to happen, he will raise Jesus back to life.  I do hope so, but, what if he doesn’t?  What will we do?

I couldn’t focus on the possibility of him not coming back.  I continued to share Jesus’s promise with everyone there in the room together.

Jesus said, “I am leaving you with a gift- peace of mind and heart.  And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So, don’t be afraid or troubled.  Remember what I told you:  I am going away, but I will come back to you again.  If you love me, you will be happy that I am going back to the Father, who is greater than I am.  I have told you these things before they happen so when they do, you will believe.”

That’s all we can do.  Believe.

God, we need the peace Jesus promised us.  We want to believe he will rise again like he said but we honestly struggle with our doubts.  Please help our unbelief.  Help us get through today in your peace and comfort.  Amen.

For further study:

John 14