Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Cry of Desperation

I just read in our bible reading about the blind man who cried out in the streets that Jesus have mercy on him. I see the scene in my head and it goes something like this...

The scent of sweat was heavy that day as I sat on the edge of the road near Jericho, holding out my bowl for alms. There weren't many people on the streets that morning and I didn't know if I was going to have enough money at the end of the day to buy the flatbread for my evening meal - my only meal. In the distance I could hear a commotion coming towards me slowly. Before long great multitudes of people began to pass by pressing me to stand and pushing me further and further off the road. Confused, I asked why there was such a crowd and someone told me, "The Master, Jesus of Nazareth, is passing by Jericho!" The Master - Jesus? Could this be the great Rabbi that I'd heard so much about? My cousin told me of how He recently healed ten lepers in a village of Galilee. There was rumor that He was the Messiah, the one we'd waited for. I'd heard that He healed the blind before - perhaps He would heal me? But how would He even see me? There were many people here, I heard voices all around me.. How could I get His attention? How do I even know where He is? The craziest thought came to me, so before I could stop myself I lifted up my voice and began to cry out, "JESUS! Son of David! Have mercy on me! Jesus! Have mercy on me!" I felt heat rush up my face in embarrassment as I struggled to make myself heard over the crowd of voices. The people closest to me grew quiet and I could feel their judgmental stares. I pushed aside my shame and continued to cry, "Have mercy on me Jesus! JESUS!" Someone nudged me roughly and said "Be quiet man - don't disturb the master with your yelling!" Even still, as the crowd continued to move past me I lifted my voice louder, straining to make myself heard. I couldn't stop now - there was hope! Hope that I would see the Son of God! Desperation grew in me I cried out with an urgency, "Son of David, Have mercy on me! Jesus!! Have mercy on me!!" I felt I would die if I did not see Him!

I soon realized that the constant shove toward the city had ceased. So I paused to see if I could hear why they'd stopped. A voice in the distance gave an authoritative command but I couldn't quite hear what was said. People around me started murmuring and whispering - there was a change in the tone of the crowd. I heard a woman ask, "What is the master going to say to him?" Him? Who did she mean? Someone nearby muttered in frustration, "The whole crowd is stopping because that blind fool couldn't keep his mouth shut!" I don't think he cared that I heard him, but at that moment I didn't care either! Jesus had heard me! Suddenly a man was speaking to me, "The Master would like to see you. I will lead you to Him." The man took my arm and began to lead me through the crowd to the place where Jesus stood. I stumbled along slowly, my heart pounding in my chest. I was coming face to face with the Son of David!

The multitude had grown quiet, waiting to see what reaction Jesus would have to my disruptive cries. You did not need to tell me the moment I stood before Him. His very presence was one of peace and authority. I awaited His words - a rebuke, a blessing; I would take anything! He simply asked me, "What do you want Me to do for you?" My mind raced while my soul rejoiced - I was standing before the Son of God! I couldn't help the conflicting emotions of joy and desperation. My request came through a sob, "Lord, that I may receive my sight." And I will never forget His next words, "Receive your sight; your faith has made you well." Immediately my eyes were opened and I saw - the light was almost as blinding as the darkness! But the first thing my eyes rested upon was Him, Jesus, the son of God, before me! What a marvelous thing for my eyes to see Him first after being blinded for so long! And from that moment on I knew that I would follow Him...

As I pictured this story in my mind I couldn't help but be overcome with emotion. This man pushed past everything that made sense to make himself heard. He cried out against everything the world said not to do to get through to Jesus. And Jesus heard him!! And I realized that this is a common theme in the gospels. Jesus takes note of those who press through the crowd to get to him. He heeds them in their desperation! I can think of at least 4 or 5 stories where this is evident - the woman with the issue of blood, the paralytic man who was dropped through the ceiling, Zaccheus, the Centurion soldier, Jairus with his sick daughter... These people were desperate to see Jesus, to touch Him, to make a request of Him - to the point that nothing else mattered and they'd do anything they had to to get to Him! And I wonder... Where is that desperation in me?!?! It comes from a deep brokenness. And I want it. I want it more than anything.

One of Leonard Ravenhills most common sayings is "God doesn't answer prayer, he answers desperate prayer!!" (Are y'all tired of me quoting Him yet? I've listened to the same 20 sermons over and over so I've practically memorized them.) And when I first heard that I wasn't sure if I agreed with him. But now I do. It's consistent with the way that Jesus worked on this earth - Jesus responded most positively to those who were desperate for Him! I want to be broken so that out of that brokenness I can cry out in desperation for Him! In desperation not letting anything anyone says hinder me! In desperation lifting my voice above the noise and chaos of this world to be heard by Him! In desperation pushing aside my pride, not caring how foolish I look! In desperation laying aside every care for anything else buy Him to cry out!

God make me broken and desperate for you..

A Hundred Years From Now

It will not make much difference friend
A hundred years from now
If you live in a stately mansion
Or a floating river scow

If the clothes you wear are tailor made
Or just pieced together somehow
If you eat big steaks or beans and cake
A hundred years from now

Won't matter what your bank account
Or the make of car you drive
For the grave will claim all your riches and fame
And the things for which you strive

There's a deadline that we all must meet
No one will show up late
It won't matter all the places you've been
Each one will keep that date

We will only have in eternity what we gave away on earth
When we go to the grave we can only save the things of eternal worth
What matters friend the earthly gain for which some men will bow
For your destiny will be sealed you see a hundred years from now

~ Warren Parker (Quoted by Len. Ravenhill)

Monday, August 27, 2007


You're not going to believe this. Alright. Anyone who has logged into my blogger or seen me log in for the past few months knows that when you go to "My dashboard" it says I have a comment. But when you click on it to view the comment - it says "No unmoderated comments".. and it wouldn't go away!!! Well, miracle of miracles, today, I went to click on it. And lo-and-behold there is a comment there! From Holly - made over 6 months ago - in February, about that Nick Cannon "Can I Live?" post. I don't know what made it do that, and I don't have a clue what made it go away! I'm just very happy that it's finally gone!!

This is my 96th post by the way.

I have something much more meaningful to post later, but it may not make it on here 'til later on in the week. I'm going to work on it for a while before I post it.

It's about to storm here. So I'm going to go clean the house while I watch the rain in the few minutes of solitude I have before everyone gets home. Have a nice night everyone!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Much More is Required than I Realized

How many times have we heard the phrase "To whom much is given, much is required."?? It's often quoted among our circle of friends. Countless times that phrase has challenged me to step up to the plate and share what the Lord has given to me. But I read it for the first time in context today. I've probably read it many times before, but today, the Word became Life - at least I pray it does.

"But if that servant says in his heart 'My master is delaying His coming,'... The master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant who knew his masters will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more."

(Luke 12:45-48)

Wow. The servant who knows His masters will, and did not do will not only be beaten with many stripes, but it says there will be cut in two and be appointed a portion with the unbelievers. That's some pretty serious judgment. This is further evidence that He truly will judge us by what we don't do. I really don't have an excuse! There are enough bible's in America for every person to own three. The average American Christian has at least 4 of them in various translations. We have the truth! All we have to do is open the word to just about any part and we see Him calling us upward to live in holiness, righteousness, steadfastness and faithfulness. That's all He's wanted from the very beginning! We read in Hosea a while back, "I will betroth her to Me forever, Yes I will betroth you to Me in righteousness, and justice, in loving-kindness and mercy, I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, and you shall know the Lord." (Hosea 2:19-20) His desire for His bride hasn't changed one bit! He'll do whatever it takes to have a pure people and a pure church who will do His will and not in any way their own! He wants faithfulness.. And I sit there on Sunday mornings and talk about it and sing about it and read about it over and over and over again! He shouldn't have to say it more than once! We're heaping judgment on ourselves if we know the truth and don't do it! Len Ravenhill said this:

"Why should I preach to you? God knows I'm adding condemnation to you tonight. You can't handle the truth you've already got - some of you have had it for 5 or 10 years and can't handle it! Why should I bring you more truth, Why should I bring you the challenge to have a spirit filled life? Out of your inmost being - where He is present - should flow rivers of living water, not trickles! RIVERS of living water! Rivers of compassion that will melt your eyes to tears, rivers of love that will make you go to the most perverted and crooked people."

Y'all, it's breaking my heart!!! Here I am, I have the truth - I've even boasted about it - It's staring me in the face. I have so much more than the early church ever thought about having - all of the epistles, the law and instructions of God in one complete volume! So much more has been given than I ever dreamed I had! I always used to think when I heard that phrase "Well, God hasn't really given me that much yet, I'm not worthy of very much, and I haven't been very faithful with the little that I have.." NO WAY! That was a cop-out because I didn't want to be responsible for all that was required of me! My God, repeal the judgment that I've brought on myself from my laziness! Break me on the rock that I may not be crushed! I want to obey you!

We read something in Luke 13 yesterday that struck me. Verses 23-24, "Then one said to Him (Jesus), 'Lord are there few who are saved?' And He said to them, 'Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you will seek to enter and will not be able." It says strive to enter the narrow gate. Strive is defined: to try hard to get or achieve something; to fight in opposition to something (our flesh!); to compete resolutely against somebody or something. So we are to fight in opposition to our flesh to be able to enter through the narrow gate. It will really cost us something, just as the bible says it will! It also says in that verse that many will seek to enter and will not be able. It's not enough to just want to. It's not enough to say "I'm seeking". I must actually do it. I must actually obey the truth that I've heard for so long! The call has gone out to prepare yourself - for His coming, for the judgment. The call has gone out to those who know His will to do it. He isn't worthy of anything less! But much more than that, He won't accept anything less... He has been merciful this far, but how long will He remain so? How long before He refuses to let us enter in because we didn't persevere to enter through the narrow way?

Let the cry go out for mercy and strength to OBEY!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

This is a quote from "Revolution in World Missions" By K.P. Yohannan -
"Ct Studd, the famous British athlete and founder of Worldwide Evangelization Crusade, was one who gave up all his achievements in this life for Christ's sake. He was challenged to his commitment by an article written by an atheist. That article, in part, said:

If I firmly believed, as millions say they do, that the knowledge and practice of religion in this life influences destiny in another, then religion would mean to me everything. I would cast away earthly enjoyments as dross, earthly cares as follies, and earthly thoughts and feelings as vanity. Religion would be my first waking thought and my last image before sleep sank me into unconsciousness. I should labor in its cause alone. I would take thought for the morrow of eternity alone. I would esteem one soul gained for heaven worth a life of suffering. Earthly consequences would never stay my hand or seal my lips. Earth, it's joys and it's grief's, would occupy no moment of my thoughts. I would strive to look upon eternity alone, and on the immortal souls around me, soon to be everlastingly happy or everlastingly miserable. I would go forth to the world and preach to it in season and out of season, and my text would be: "What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?"

I can see there that an atheist has a much better understanding of what it means to be heavenly minded than I do - than most "Christian" Americans do.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Smell the Smoke?

Jordan and I just had a very interesting experience. No your eyes aren't playing tricks on you, yes I am writing this at roughly 4 o clock in the morning. We we driving home from Laurens, down Greenwell Springs Rd and as we got on the road Jordan turns and says to me "Can we roll down the windows Bekah?" I balked about my hair getting frizzy but she argued that it was too late, so we rolled them down... a little ways down the road we suddenly come upon what I thought was a patch of fog, but realized after about a hundred feet that it was a thick cloud of pungent smoke! At 3 in the morning we thought it very odd for someone to be burning trash. So we decided to go back and make sure that nothing was on fire that shouldn't be. We rolled down the windows again to assure we wouldn't miss it and were very relieved to find that it was a smoldering trash pile, and not someones house! We were talking as we drove away and I made the comment "I was just worried that someone would be sleeping through thier house burning!!"

It got qiuet for a few moments.. and in those moments I heard God speak, "You were concerned that those people were burning in their beds and were prepared to wake up strangers to ensure their safety, but what do you do for the lost and dying all around you who will burn in hell eternally??" I began sharing this with Jordan and as I talked it was just like... My gosh!!!! Very literally thoughts were going through my head of "What would I do if those people's house had been on fire? " I would've gone and banged on every window or door I could find to wake them up and ensure they were safe! Or I would've called someone who had the neccessary equipment to lead them to safety! But I wouldn't have passed by and let them burn, not caring what happened!! But every day I come in contact with people - even people I love - who the bible says, are condemned already. If they don't believe, according to John 3 they are already condemned! Where is the urgency to wake them up?!!!?!!?!! I pass on by without a care in the world thinking "Well, I'll offend them if I wake them up. Or it'll be inconvient for me or them, or they won't like being woken up right now... etc." I would never even think twice about stuff like that if their actual house was on fire! But Jesus said their soul is worth so much more! Why on earth do I delay in waking up those who are burning?!?!

It got quiet again as Jordan and I pondered on the things the Lord was speaking to our hearts... And I realized that though we were miles down the road the smoke was still burning my nose and throat. We should come away from every burning soul with the smell of smoke burning in us to pray! Pray in desperation that their eyes will be opened and they will be rescued from eternal fire! We must let the it burn it us as a reminder to intercede and stand on the line for their souls, just as we might for someone whos house is on fire. It says in the word to be eternally minded. Part of which means that you look at every person through the eyes of eternity - their either headed for eternal heaven, or eternal hell. And we should care. We are to be the salt and light of this earth, but of what worth is the salt if it loses it's savor??

Thursday, August 09, 2007

We MUST seek His face!


More quotes and stuff:

"Because there isn't enough joy in the house of God we need entertainment! And entertainment is the devils substitute for joy!!"

I've found this rings so true. It was hard for me to swallow the first time I heard it, but I'm telling you guys.. Since I've been in prayer it's like every time I sit down to watch TV the joy is zapped!!

"Do you get so near to the heart of God that you share His grief over the world and the backslidden church that we have today? Can He share His sorrow with you? Or do you only want His joy?"

"Paul said that he prayed night and day... Praying what? Praying for the church, not the lost! Not that the Roman empire would collapse or Caesar would die, or any other thing, but for the church!"

"Paul says the world is a system of corruption and rottenness and vileness - it's anti-Christ from the word go! Is the world crucified to you tonight? Or does it fascinate you? Jesus isn't looking for some sissies to serve Him, He's looking for some men with guts, and men with grace, and men with determination! You still comfortable to sit in a ball park and hear somebody take the name of Jesus in vain...?"

"Paul says 'I bear my brands of Jesus.' - These hands will never do anything Jesus wouldn't do. These feet will never walk where Jesus would be uncomfortable. This mind will never think of anything that doesn't satisfy the heart of God..."

Think on that the next time you turn on the TV or something like that. Where would Jesus be uncomfortable? Would you have found Him in the Roman coliseum cheering on the gladiators and the lions, enjoying the blood, guts, and gore? Or would that disgust Him? How is our modern entertainment any different?

"An experience of God that costs nothing, does nothing, and it's worth nothing."