I’m still taken back at how often I find myself in “wow” moments with God. Today is not the first time I’ve discovered Him doing something pretty cool behind the scenes and then catching me up through a powerful revelation, but today was a pretty big one!
A couple of months ago, I was invited to share my heart and play some music with the guys that are currently in the Renewed Life Ministry Outreach. RLMO is an awesome ministry that helps addicts recover from addiction and re-focus their lives on Christ through a 1 year life transformation. I’ve been very excited for RLMO and was very happy to get the chance to go spend the evening with them tonight!
Well, this afternoon I was preparing for what I might share and then it dawned on me… “hey, I think it’s been about 20 years since I gave my life to God, and about 20 years since I last did any kind of drugs.” That was an eye-opening moment and I got real excited about sharing my testimony and getting to talk with the guys about my victory. Then I started to think harder about it, and dug a little deeper into the dates and discovered… “Oh wait, not only has it been 20 years, but it was in October.” Then again, “I think it might have been this week too??” Then finally, I opened up the calendar on my iPhone and looked at the dates in October 1996 and saw that it was Friday, October 18 when started to die to my old life and I began a new life in Christ. The next thought was “now way, what is today’s date?” Then it happened. I looked and saw that today was October 18, 2016. Exactly 20 years from that day back in high school.
I didn’t fully surrender everything until the following Sunday, but the 18th was when I was when I knew I was done, and I was just so amazed that I was invited to speak to a group of guys who were currently going through what I was going through 20 years ago. It was an incredible night for me to honor the Lord and celebrate the freedom He gave me.
Most people who know me today would have no idea of what I was like in High School, but I was changed radically and I’m so thankful for what God has done in my life. I don’t deserve much of what I have, but God has been good to me time and time again! Tonight is a special night, and I’m really excited to spend the next few days remembering those dark days of being delivered and stepping into victory. This is awesome man! WOW!!!
I will rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! I will let Your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.I will be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, I will let my requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard my heart and mind through Christ Jesus.
Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy— I will meditate on these things. The things which I have learned and received and heard and saw in You, I will do, and the God of peace will be with me.
“… give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me…”
Heavenly Father, the first thing to acknowledge is that I was made for You and made for a purpose. I believe with my whole heart that You have prepared things in advance for me to do for Your purpose and for Your Kingdom’s sake. Therefore, let my heart be at rest from chasing riches, and still at rest in the desire for more. Give me what I need to make the journey You are leading me though. Please not more than I can bare, and please just enough to keep my eyes on You. I trust You dear Lord. You will never fail and there is no need You can not fill. Let me heart rest in You alone and I trust in Your provision day after day. Thank You Holy Spirit for leading me and for being my everything along the way!
Lord, today I was reminded by Your servant Erwin McManus of the statement of my soul: “I don’t want to know about You, I want to know You.” yes God, I agree. I love the letters that reveal who You are, but it is only You that I want to know. I don’t want to just know facts about You, I want to experience You and be overtaken by Your presence in the room. Yes, You come with rewards. You come with fruit. I however want more than a reward and the fruit that You bring. I want to know You deeper. I want to know Your thoughts about me, about the world, about others, about heaven, about everything! I want to feel what You feel in everything You think about. As the sacred scriptures reveal about Your servant David, may it be so with me as well. May I find wonder in the beauty of your words and may I be a man after Your own heart. You are the most astounding, and I want to run after You and discover You all over again, and again, and again. Open up my mind and my heart today to You Oh God. My savior, My Lord, my desire! Holy Spirit Come!!!
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lord, I am fully assured that yesterday, today and tomorrow one thing will always be true. Your great faithfulness and mercy surround me and flow over all of my weaknesses, my failures, and my inadequasies.
I am forever grateful that no matter the tasks in front of me, the circumstances around me, or the fears inside of me; You will always cover me with Your mercy. You are strong an mighty like a dam holding back the waters of wrath, destruction, and darkness from overtaking me.
Today and every day is exciting and worth living because of the redemption I am rescued into. Your love oh Lord is the life in me. You are my blessing and my exceedingly great reward! Hallelujah, for you are alive and very much alive in me! Amen
14.. if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.
“I can do all things through Him [Christ] who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Lord today I was very weak, but I had many things I dreamed of accomplishing by nightfall. Though I was low in spirit, low in energy, and low in confidence, I turned You and asked you to rise up within me and move my will, muscles and bones.
I set me heart on You and pushed my soul into submission to Your joy. I surrendered my will and found Your peace reigning once again. I lifted my voice in praise which led me heart to worship and found You as an overcoming well of strength and confidence.
Let me always be reminded that IN YOU, I am conformed to your capabilities and not my own. You have reminded me that strength does not come from only a verse about You, but from You alone. You are the first and foremost over every ounce of energy I need. When I am weak, I need You Jesus. Like You, there is no other… Let me be found in You!
Lord. As I sit here at my desk and look at the bookshelves filled with all the books You have given me, remember all the the education You have taken me through, and imagine the faces of all the mentors I have been introduced to… I realize that all of these resources have very little to do with what You have called me to. I am overwhelmed at Your investment in these resources, yet I felt Your sweet reminder to me today that “if I have not love,” well… everything else goes out the window anyway.
The only power I can rely on is Your unfailing love. I am amazed at how You accept me and forgive me. Even more so, I am astonished how You keep no record of wrongs. Then I think, if there is to be full love expressed, there can not be anything held back. How could You fully love me if you kept a record of things I did against You. You had to get rid of my sin and so you sent Your son Jesus to shed His blood to cover me. Now I am hidden in your love expressed! Wow!!
You hold the bar high. You are the perfect partner in a relationship and I wish that I gave you more of what you deserve… full, honest, and desired devotion. However, until that day you revive my flesh anew, I suffer with this disease of selfishness and try to demand Lordship over myself, family and world around me. When I am Lord, I reign unjustly, uncompassionately, intolerant, and arrogantly.
My hope is in You though. I know because You live with me, that You are greater than the moments I am in the worldly frame. You are the knight in shining armor and Your love leads me straight to the streams of life again. God I need You… to love. I need you… to feel. I need you… to rule over my heart, soul and mind. Oh God I ask again, daily in need… Let Your Love rule over me!
A prayer taken from “Prayers that Avail Much” by Germaine Copeland
Father, in the name of Jesus, I thank You for calling me to be a fellow workman – a joint promoter and a laborer together – with You. I commit to pray and not give up.
Jesus You are the Son of God, and I will never stop trusting You. You are my high priest, and You understand my weaknesses. So I come boldly to the throne of gracious God. There I receive mercy and find grace to help when I need it.
There are times I do not know what I ought to pray for. Holy Spirit, I submit to Your leadership and thank You for interceding for us with groans that words can not express. You search hearts and know the mind of the spirit, because You intercede for the saints in accordance with God’s will.
Therefore, I am assured and know that (with God being a partner in my labor) all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for my good, because I love God and am called according to [His] design and purpose.
I resist the temptation to be anxious about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything by prayer and petition [definite requests] with thanksgiving continue to make my wants (and the wants of others) know to God. Whatever I ask for in prayer, I believe that it is granted to me, and I will receive it.
You made Christ, Who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with You through Christ. Now my earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer makes tremendous power available – dynamic in it’s working. Father I live in You – continue to live in my heart. Therefore I ask whatever I will, and it shall be done for me. When I produce much fruit it brings great glory to my Father – the Father of my Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
“…God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance”
Dear Heavenly Father. As I think back on all of the things I have selfishly done with the amount of breaths You have given me so far, I am amazed at Your generosity and tolerance with my immaturity and even my rebellion for that matter. All along, it has been Your kindness, Lord. You have led my heart back to You over and over again.
I thank You with all the ability I have to think and feel that I am a recipient of Your kindness and that You have withheld Your wrath and judgement upon me and placed it upon Your beloved son. Oh how my heart rejoices that I have received Your immeasurable grace! Yet, the tension in my soul seeks the question of how the one who loved me more than life itself would willingly suffer for my wickedness and corrosion of heart?
I came at you with hate, pride and demand and your response has been love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and strength.
Oh God, how I love you not because of what you give, but because you are revealed to me by what you have chosen to give me. You would be right and just to give me wrath, punishment, and suffering, yet because of your great love for me, You have moved towards me with kindness and gentle correction. Your character is astounding to me, oh Lord.
I am comforted that You never change and that Your kindness will be upon me all the days of my life and even unto the eternal. I praise You Lord, my God. Your kindness ever leads me to turn to You!