February 26, 2012 Comments Off on Give Me More
Have you ever considered the concept of why fast food restaurants have large menus, when in reality the variation of what you can actually eat is very small. Out of multiples of combo’s, there are only slight variations- maybe an extra patty or a slice of cheese. Have you ever considered why they do this?
The more we see, as humans, the more we want. Instead of seeing just one hamburger, fast food chains show multiples of hamburgers on their menus- in all the popular ways that their customers like. When it comes time to order, we can’t decide because it all just “looks good”.
I am not here to try to make you feel guilty about that fact that you’re probably already hungry after reading this and thinking about your next big indulgence at your favorite fast food restaurant- there’s something more here that we need to understand.
When it comes to our faith, our quiet times, and our prayer life- we should be no different than how we react to a fast food menu. We should be asking God to show us more of Him, to ask Him to let us want more of His will more our life. Let our prayer be that the more we see of Gods faithfulness, love, and kindness in our life the more we want of Him.
Let us never forget the joy that is found in seeing God do impossible things through us in our life to further His kingdom. Let us never grow weary of being in His presence and wanting more of Him and less of our own desires!
The more I see of you God, the more I want. Let me never grow tired of wanting to see you move in my life!
October 24, 2011 Comments Off on Opportunity Earned, Virtue Not Given
Have you ever said the words “God give me patience?”,”God give me strength”,”Make me closer with my family”, or any other virtue you have asked God for lately?
We have a critical error in our thought process of what we expect God to give us as an answer to those requests. We believe that God is going to move in our heart and give us patience when that certain someone is around. We believe that God is going to give us strength as soon as we get off our knees from praying to deal with our situation.
While God may choose to give you that, I believe He is going to do something else instead…
Instead of adding that quality or attribute you seek, God is going to give you an opportunity to have patience or strength.
Instead of waking up the next day with a patience mindset, God is going to put that annoying someone in your life that day to see if you can be patient. Instead of giving you strength over night, God is going to remind you to lean on His strength rather than yours when a similar situation arises the next day at the office. Instead of giving you love for your seemingly unlovable family member, He will give you more opportunities to spend time with that person.
Virtues are never given freely, but are presented through opportunities God gives us throughout our day.
Stop thinking God isn’t hearing your prayer or is giving you cruel and unusual punishment when He is giving you exactly what you’ve been asking for all along.
August 22, 2011 Comments Off on Ask 2 Receive
So what does it really mean to ask God for something in your life? I think a very misinterpreted practice in our faith these days is how we ask God for things.
Asking God for something in your life isn’t the same as asking a bank for a loan, asking your parents to have friends over, or asking for help on homework.
Asking God for things in your life requires repetition, patience, and lots of time.
I think the critical breakdown in our walk with God is that we think asking Him for something can be adequately accomplished by just a simple thought or a one-time whisper for Him to come through in our life. While yes, there is no secret formula or certain way of asking God for things. I think God honors those who honor Him.
Get on your face.
Come before God as if you were right in His presence. Why? Because you are. Treat Him the way He wants to be treated, love Him the way He wants to be loved- not the way you think He should be loved.
In Luke 11:9, Jesus says “Keep on knocking”. He doesn’t say just knock once or knock softly, He encourages you to keep knocking. Sometimes asking for God for things requires day, weeks, or sometimes even years, but never give up on Gods plan.
God is faithful and His ways are not our ways. Sometimes you may be asking God for something and feel like giving up because you aren’t seeing the change you want. Well, we are not the planner and sometimes God has something going on in someones life that we can’t see.
God has a plan, there is nothing that will ever surprise God.
So when you feel like giving up, keep knocking. Keep asking. Keep seeking Him in a way that He is deserving of- not the easiest, most convenient way for you and your life.
July 20, 2011 Comments Off on Yes, No
What happens when I am praying for a “yes” and God gives me a “no”?
I think so often times we pray for silly things: a good test grade, an attractive person to come into our life, a nice house, more money, or other genie-type wishes.
God isn’t trying to be our genie in a bottle, granting us the desires of our heart. God wants to be more than that. We fail to realize that God already has an entire plan for our life. We barely even know what our schedule is for tomorrow and God already has every second of our day for the next ten years planned out.
You will never see prayers answered until you learn to pray for what God wants for your life. When you want what God wants for your life, that is when you begin to see God work in your life. Until then, every other desire is just a selfish desire to have something more for the life that you want to live- not the one God wants you to live.
Another thing to understand is that our prayers hardly are ever answered the same day we pray them, or even 3 days later for that matter. God works all things in HIs timing, sometimes it might even take years. But know this, God will supply you with exactly what you need, when you truly need it. He isn’t a fan of leaving you out to dry if you are living a life that is pleasing to Him. Sometimes we think God is giving us a “no” when in reality He’s just giving us a “not yet” answer.
Our society teaches us that if we can’t have what we want right now, then it must mean we can’t have it. However, Gods timing is and will always be perfect, so you have to learn to grasp “not yet”. God is a master planner and sometimes He actually did answer your prayer, but it’s going on behind the scenes- you just haven’t seen it yet.
Rest assured that there is a God that loves you and will provide all that you need. Sometimes, God calls us to be patient and says NOT YET.
Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord. -Psalm 27:14
June 15, 2011 Comments Off on Pray
“When you find yourself at your darkest hour,
When you find yourself weeping and alone,
When you find yourself looking for power,
When the only thing you can find to eat is a bone,
When you are in need of a strong tower,
When you find yourself looking for a home,
When your life seems ever so sour,
All you want to do is runaway and roam,
When you have no one to turn to because they’re a coward,
I think for many of us we forget the power of prayer, we use prayer as a means of giving God empty promises that we can never keep. We tell God that if He would just answer this one prayer we would finally decide to give our life over to Him. If He could just see this deal through, we would finally start going to church again.
Prayer was meant to petition to God for the impossible. Prayer was a time of solemn, serious requests to God. Not a time to ask for a good grade on your test because you were cramming the night before or asking for money because you spent all of your paycheck already.
When you learn to pray for the impossible, you become unstoppable. You allow yourself to be used by God and to truly seek His will for your life by praying to Him for real issues. God deserves a God sized prayer, not something that sparknotes can accomplish.
What would happen if you truly and deeply asked God for the impossible(s) in your life? What would happen if you stopped treating God like a genie in a bottle and began to seek His will in prayer? What would that look like?
Praying for the impossible in your life isn’t irresponsible. It’s responsible. God didn’t create you to pray for things that will further your wants and needs, but to pray for things to be revealed to your on your mission to find His will. Why would God answer your prayer when you’re asking for something that wouldn’t glorify Him in anyway?
Prayer isn’t a game of luck or chance, it’s a time to hear and speak to God your Father.
June 8, 2011 Comments Off on Guest Appearance
In the morning I lay my requests before you and I wait in expectation.
Prayer is so much more than the puny, ordinary thing we make it out to be. And that’s because the One we’re praying to is not only so much bigger than we’ll ever be able to comprehend. But also so much more willing to respond to us than we’ll ever be able to comprehend as well.
Think about this:
- Our galaxy has approximately 250 billion stars and it is estimated that there are 100 billion other galaxies in the universe, each with hundreds of billions of stars. And He’s named each one.
- The universe is so vast in relation to the matter it contains that it can be compared in this way: A building 20 miles long, 20 miles wide and 20 miles high that contains 1 grain of sand. And He’s holding it all in the expanse of His hands.
- The largest star to date, Canis Majoris, is so large that if Earth’s Sun were replaced by it, its radius would extend beyond the orbit of Saturn. And He merely spoke it into existence.
Prayer isn’t just an empty box to fill in on your morning checklist. Every day you get to speak to the One who created and is sustaining a universe that makes you look like less than a grain of sand in comparison.
But now think about this:
The same God who knows the names of every star knows your name.
The same God who is holding the universe in the expanse of His hands is holding you in His hands.
God is infinite, but He is also intimate. Prayer isn’t just lofting up requests to a distant God with little chance of Him responding. Every day you get to have face time and collaborate with the Creator of the universe.
That’s why Psalm 5:3 says that you can wait in expectation when you pray. You should actually expect God to respond to your prayers. When I’m expecting something my mind is preoccupied with it. My schedule is arranged accordingly. I’m actually anticipating it to happen. Prayer isn’t just having a little five-minute conversation in the morning and then going about your day. Prayer sets the agenda for your day.
God expects you to expect Him to be able to answer your requests. But He also expects you to expect Him to want to answer your requests.
You might be as small as a grain of sand, but you have a privilege no star or galaxy will ever have. Take advantage of it today. Lay your requests before God. And wait in expectation.
If you would like to read more of Pastor Steven Furticks blogs, go to http://www.stevenfurtick.com