Friday, July 31, 2009

The river is raging, but it's harvest time

I think it is very significant that the Israelites where called to cross the Jordan river into the Promised Land when the river was at flood stage. God could have chosen any time during the year for His people to cross this river. Why not drought season when the Israelites could have tiptoed across?
“Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest.” - Joshua 3:15
This is the most difficult and dangerous time to cross a river. If you have ever been around a river that was flooding, you know it can be a terrifying thing. The waters were rushing and the river was at its widest. But, it was harvest time. This is often how it is. When it appears to be the most difficult time, that is when we are called to cross over and take the land. This is when we are called to step out and follow God into our calling. This requires faith; a total dependence on God.

Today, we see financial instability, things are being shaken, the world is confused and in a state of panic, yet it is HARVEST TIME. We are being called to cross over and take the land. WE ARE CALLED AT SUCH A TIME AS THIS. THE RIVER IS RAGING, BUT IT IS HARVEST TIME! LET’S TAKE THE LAND!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

When God moves, follow Him

"When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests, who are Levites, carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it.” - Joshua 3:3
The Ark of the Covenant in those days represented the very presence of God. It was His seat. It was the place where His Spirit dwelled. To follow the Ark meant to follow God.

So God is saying: “When you see me move, follow me.” Follow God. That is what we are supposed to do. We are not called to follow our own plans and our own desires. We are not called to follow what the world is doing and where they are going. We are not called to follow everyone else. We are not even called to follow our friends and family. We are called to follow God.
“Then we will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before.” - Joshua 3:4
How often do we ask, “What should I be doing? What is my purpose? Which way should I go?” The answer is always “FOLLOW GOD”. Go where God is going. We can look to the life and words of Christ to help us understand this. What did Jesus do? How did He live? Where did He go? He didn’t live for His own comfort – He didn’t even have a place to lay His own head. He lived for His Father and for others. He gave everything for everyone else. So, which way should we go? Where is God going? What is on His heart? What does God want us to be doing? Too many people end up like a deer staring into the headlights of life and not moving – they’re frozen. They want to do what God wants them to do, but they keep sitting around, paralyzed, waiting for His direction. The problem is, most people are looking for some kind of miraculous sign or wonder – like a cosmic billboard with their name on it and a big blinking arrow saying “go this way!" However, God has already given them the answer in His Word. He wrote it out for us so that we would know exactly what we are supposed to do and which direction we are to take. He has shown us which way to go.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ready to take the land

You can now listen online at www.EvidentLife.org to last weeks teaching from the Book of Joshua: "Ready to take the land - Let's GO!"

CLICK HERE to go to the Evident Life Sermons page.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Motivation matters

When we ask God for something, our motivation matters. King Solomon was motivated by a desire to be a good leader and faithfully govern Israel. He was motivated by a desire to help others and do good for others. He wasn’t motivated by personal gain and wealth. Because his motivation was pure in the sight of God, his request was answered. But we see that God went way beyond Solomon’s request and blessed him with so much more than wisdom and knowledge.
10 Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?" 11 God said to Solomon, "Since this is your heart's desire and you have not asked for wealth, riches or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, 12 therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, riches and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have." – 2 Chronicles 1:10-12
God will lift up the humble and He will reward a heart that is motivated by love for Him and love for others. Lord, by your grace, help me root out any selfishness in my heart. I desire to be motivated by love. I want my desires to be your desires. Make me an instrument of your peace. Create in me a pure heart.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

God rescued me. I am His. I will live only for Him.

Psalm 116 is my hearts cry this day. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord. I will follow His plans. I will chase after Him and Him alone for He has rescued me.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fear God and not man

God deserves our full reverence and respect. God deserves all honor and praise. He is holy; He is almighty; He is all-powerful. There is no one like God – NO ONE.

Man cannot save us and man cannot condemn us. Do not fear man. It is only God who saves. He is the author of life; He is the giver of life; He is the restorer of life; He is the judge of life. Blessing and prosperity are found in fearing God and not man. Life is found in fearing God and not man.
1 Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways. 2 You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. 3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table. 4 Thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD. 5 May the LORD bless you from Zion all the days of your life; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem, 6 and may you live to see your children's children. Peace be upon Israel. – Psalm 128

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Moving forward without fear

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. - Joshua 1:9
If we are living in His will, following Him, going where He tells us to go – then we don’t have to worry because HE will be with us – even when it gets tough, even when it is not easy, even when others come against us. Don’t worry because God is with us. If God is for us, who can be against us --- NO ONE! No person. No addiction. No circumstance. No one.

Sometimes my younger children don’t want to go to the other side of the house alone when it is dark. They are fearful of the unknown. However, when I go with them, they go without fear. When their father goes with them, when their father leads the way, the children confidently follow – without fear! Our father is with us when we follow His calling, when we live for Him. We can go in confidence; we can proceed and walk to the other side, to the new land, into the unknown, without fear, boldly and courageously. GOD IS WITH US.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Want success?

Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. - Joshua 1:8
The opposite of success and prosperity is failure and poverty. We find success and prosperity when we live for God. Things go well for the people of God when they obey Him. Things go very wrong when they don’t obey. There is a direct correlation between obedience and successful living - accomplishing God's plans for our lives.

How do we live obedient lives? God's Word clearly tells us that we meditate on His Word. We read the Bible. We diligently seek Truth so that we can live Truth. Obeying God’s Word is vital to following Him. He has written down so much for us to know and to do right here in the Bible. We must embrace His Word. We must hunger for His Word. We must get His Word into our hearts and minds and do what it says. It must consume us and we must be consumed by it.

Yes, God will give us special revelation. Yes, the Holy Spirit will speak specific words to us. But, we must not neglect His written Word. This must be where we start. This is our home base. This is our manual for daily living. When we live by this Book, we will find great success and accomplish God’s plans and His call on our lives. If we neglect His Word; if we seek to once again do it our way; we will fail. With that said, LET'S DO IT GOD’S WAY!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

HE HAS OUR BACKS

No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. - Joshua 1:5
This is the nature of God. This is how He deals with His people. This is how He protects His people who call upon His name and step out in faith and pursue His calling. This is how He will be with us. WOW! God, the Creator of the universe, the Almighty One, the All Powerful One will be with us and never leave us as we obediently step into the plans He has for us.
HE HAS OUR BACKS!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Go and God will give it

I will give you every place where you set your foot." - Joshua 1:3
What an incredible promise. What an amazing reality for God’s people who follow Him and obediently go where He is leading.

I also find it interesting that God is saying He will give His people the land when they step out and move. They must place one foot in front of the other and move in God's direction, toward His calling, into the new place He has for them.

We too must go. Following Christ is not a spectator sport; rather, it is an action packed adventure where our full participation is required. We must walk it out, we must run the race, we must get up and GO.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What has your attention?

Have you ever been so wrapped up in a TV show, a book, or a project that you completely ignore someone (your spouse or child) who asks you an important question or requests help? You kind of heard them, but you were just too captivated by something else. I know I have done this too many times.

Sometimes I find out that I missed out on a critical conversation or I really let someone down or I was left out of all of the fun. I think most of the time I never knew just what amazing opportunities I passed by. Has this ever happened to you?

Have we ever done this to God? Do we sometimes get so busy and wrapped up in the minutia of life that we blow off the call of God? What have we missed out on?

It is one thing to hear the voice of God and yet another thing to sit up, pay attention, and respond to it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Are you paying attention?

When we don’t pay attention to instructions, bad things can happen. My oldest son just returned from a week of fishing in Canada with his grandpa. They caught a boatload of huge fish. I am somewhat jealous, but am getting over it.

Anyway, they took a helicopter to their floating fishing lodge. Before taking off, the pilot gave some important instructions about the aircraft, the flight, and safety. One of the instructions was, “Do not apply pressure to the windows during flight because, as a safety measure and point of emergency exit, they are designed to dislodge and eject when pressure is applied.”

My son was listening intently as he had never flown on a helicopter before. However, the young man sitting next to him was not paying attention. Well, you can imagine what happened next. During the flight, the inattentive young man pushed a little too hard on the window as he was amazed at the view of some feeding whales and out popped the window. Not a good thing, but a natural result of not listening to instructions.

This is the kind of thing that can happen when we don’t pay attention to the instructions given to us by our Maker – God. How many “windows” have we popped out in the mid-flight of life because we haven’t listened to God’s instructions? Read His manual – the Bible. Listen to His voice. Keep your focus on Him, and have a safe, successful flight.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Need help?

When I need help; when I need hope; when I need direction; when I need love; when I need comfort; when I need healing; when I need strength; when I need protection; when I need clarity; when I need peace; when I need joy, I can go to God and be completely satisfied. I cannot look to anyone else or anything else. I cannot depend on this world for these things. As amazing as my wife is, I can’t even expect her to meet my needs; however, I can always count on God. He is able. He is always there. He will meet my needs. My help comes from the Lord!

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from?

2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber;

4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD watches over you—the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

6 the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life;

8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. (PSALM 121)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Launching a church in Gilbert, Arizona

After 16 incredible years at City of Grace Church in Mesa, Arizona, I am following God’s call to launch a new church in Gilbert, Arizona called Evident Life Church. I enter this season of life with great expectation and with great reverence.

Evident Life Church will be a multi-generational and family integrated group of Christ followers who are pursuing God in His fullness of Spirit and Truth. Our passion is seeing people saved, set free, discipled, and empowered to live for God and advance His kingdom.

Our official launch date is scheduled for September 13th; however, we are currently meeting as a launch team on Sundays at 4PM at the Freestone Recreation Center in the Assembly Room with a time of food and fellowship following.

For more information, contact me at eric@evidentlife.org or visit us online at www.EvidentLife.org.

Let it be EVIDENT to the world that Christ is in us.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Prayers that reach heaven

Do you want your prayers to reach heaven? (2 Chronicles 30:27) Do you want God to hear your cries? (Psalm 40:1) Do you want your prayers to be powerful and produce results? (James 5:16) Well, we see throughout God’s Word, both Old Testament and New Testament, that God hears the prayers of those who have humbled themselves, those who have consecrated themselves to His will, those who have prepared a place for Him, those who have purified themselves, those who have waited patiently for Him, and those who have passionately pursued Him with righteous abandonment.

By God’s grace and our willingness to respond to Him by living solely for Him, we can be people whose prayers reach heaven - may it be so.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Sometimes we need a little push

I am spending a few days at the lake with my family. The weather up here is gorgeous and the water is perfect. My kids love to swim, they love to play in the water, and they love to tube and ski behind the boat. You would think that every morning they would immediately run down the dock and jump into the water. However, it is quite the opposite. Even with all of the fun awaiting them, it is very typical that one or more of the kids are hesitant to enter the water. Something keeps them from jumping in and enjoying what they love.

I think we sometimes experience this same type of hesitation as it relates to spiritual matters. We know that time with God is awesome. Yet we find other things to fill our days. We know that reading His Word blows our minds and brings amazing change. We know that worshipping God with songs of praise bring us closer to Him. We know that obedience brings favor and blessing. We know these things, yet we sometimes hold back. We don’t always jump in. Sometimes my kids need a little encouragement to jump in and enjoy the water. Sometimes they need a little push. Likewise, there are times that we need a little encouragement to jump in and enjoy God. Sometimes we just need a little push. JUMP IN!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Spiritual stimulus is what we need

Last night was spent talking through all of the issues we are facing here in the United States. We came up with a lot of things that need to be addressed economically, politically, socially, and educationally. However, we concluded that none of these solutions will really matter if this country continues to turn from God. Ultimately, our condition is a spiritual one. It is only when we humble ourselves before the Creator that we will again experience favor. It is only when we turn from our evil ways and pray that God will heal our land. We must turn our hearts back to God. We need spiritual stimulus. People of God, let’s pray!