Power Moves

on 1/24/2012

I first began seriously following Christ in May of 2004. It was then that I decided to surrender my life to Him and live by His ways. The following school year was my second year of law school. Sometimes after school I would come home and contact old friends to tell them about Jesus. Each week God would lay a few people on my heart and I would call or email them to witness.

I began reaching out to various friends and acquaintances, which got a bit strange in the natural, as you can imagine. But most of them had heard my life had radically changed. One afternoon I called this one guy. As the conversation began he said something I'll never forget. He said, "I heard you've been making power moves."

What a shocking thing for him to say. While maybe he didn't consciously think about all this, it seems He was acknowledging that I had made drastic changes in my life, that these changes had the potential to drastically improve my life, that these moves would increase my power in life, and that all this would come from my improved relationship with God. Sometimes people outside the church system say the most amazing things.

He was absolutely right, I was making power moves. I'm sure I mumbled something worthless and based in false humility in response, wanting to ensure the conversation focused on him and his salvation. But maybe now I would respond differently, in full agreement and inviting him to make the same moves. Now I fully understand that God forgave my sins (Colossians 1:14), gave birth to me Himself (1 John 5:1), made me His son (John 1:12), put His Spirit within me (Ephesians 1:13), and placed me in Christ seated at His right hand (Ephesians 2:6). Simply put, my accepting Christ was the single greatest power move I could ever make. I put myself in God's hands, and by His power He gave me a new life. "But as many as received Him (Jesus), to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name." (John 1:12)

But there are other power moves we must make after accepting Christ, and these aren't one time moves. These other power moves must be made again and again for the rest of our lives. Every day we have the opportunity to make power moves. Do we take those opportunities? Are we making power moves? I know I don't make the right moves all the time, but by God's grace and direction, that's going to change.

Once you accept Christ you become perfectly accepted by God (Hebrews 10:14). Read that wonderful truth again. Jesus takes your sin, God forgives you, and you are given God's righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). You can come boldly before God (Hebrews 4:16), for God doesn't see you in your faults, He sees you in Jesus. He sees you in His Perfect Son and covered by Jesus' pure blood (Ephesians 2:13).

We can easily imagine what it would look like if God and Jesus approached each other in bodily form. God would tell Him, "Well done", God would embrace Him, and they would each shed a tear as they smiled. We can get that picture because we know Jesus is perfect and God loves Him completely and without reservation. But we must realize that, because we are in Christ, God feels the exact same way about us (John 17:23). We can run to God's presence, embrace Him, call His name, and speak with Him. God won't turn His face or yell at us to kneel. He will embrace us because in God's eyes we are now perfect because of what Jesus did.

The next power move we must make is daily running to God's presence to better know Him. We must speak with Him in prayer. We must worship Him. We must read His Word. As we are perfect in Christ, we are no longer trying to earn God's favor or blessing, we are already entitled. Rather, we are simply trying to know our wonderful God. And those who know their God shall be strong, and do exploits (Daniel 11:32). The secret to power in this life is your relationship with God.

Philippians 2:13 says, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." That is the King James translation. Look at what the Amplified translation says, "For it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight." The more God in your life, the more power, it's just that simple. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit brings God's power directly into our lives. Remember that Jesus said we would be filled with power from God (Luke 24:49). And 2 Timothy 1:7 says that we are given a Spirit of Power.

Jesus gives you the power to become God's child. Then God gives you the power to do His will.

I believe this last power move we will discuss is the key to seeing the full manifestation of the power that comes from the two moves already mentioned. This power move is surrendering ourselves to God and His will for our lives.

I hate to say it, but I really didn't want to call those people after school. Of course I wanted them saved, and I still do. I want all people to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. But I didn't want to look weird (and still don't, but too late). I didn't want them to think I'm crazy or end our friendships. But a major key to seeing the full manifestation of God's power in your life is doing what He wants you to do.

Is God going to fill you with His power so you can watch television? Is God going to fill you with His power so you can be a normal Sunday morning Christian who even tithes and goes to Bible study? No, God doesn't fill you with His power so you can go through the motions and just make it to Heaven. God doesn't give you His power so you can do what any human can do. God fills you with His power so you can use it just like Jesus did!

God says lay hands on the sick and see them recover (Mark 16:18). God says pray and whatever you ask for will be done for you (Mark 11:24). God says even whatever you say will come to pass (Mark 11:23). God says that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13). God wants to fill you and use you. Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father." (John 14:12)

Getting saved gets you God's righteousness and complete access into His presence. By spending time with God you will know Him and learn what He wants you to do. Now you must deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus. We follow Jesus by continuing His ministry on the earth, and doing the works that He did. You must surrender yourself and do whatever God tells you to do. It may seem impossible, it may seem crazy, and you will almost certainly look weird to natural people, but God has given you His power.

I want to see all of God's power in my life. I want to see God's power to change me and improve my life. But I also want to see God's power touch the lives of others.

"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." (2 Corinthians 4:6-7) We are dealing with God's power, not ours. And God will put this power in you, in an earthen vessel made of dust, so that you can do supernatural things of God's design.

God wants you to do things that seem completely impossible in the natural. He wants you to do things that people will absolutely know were done by God and not you. God wants you to lay hands on sick people and see them recover so that they will then turn and worship Him. I want to do things where people say, "That must have been God because it definitely wasn't Byron." This is another way God shows the world His power and love, supernatural actions by natural people. They will know it wasn't you, they will know it was God, and they will come to Him. This is God's design to show His love to the world through you.

So make these power moves today. If you aren't saved, accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, repent of your sins, and run boldly to God's presence. Spend time with God to know Him and learn His will for your life. Do this continually and forever. Then act boldly and confidently when He says to do something, for He has put His power in you to do His will on earth. Glory to God.

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God Helps me Love Him

on 1/13/2012

Recently the Lord sternly corrected me. It was in the morning as I struggled to stay awake with Him and His Word. Unfortunately, struggling to spend time with God in the morning has long been part of my relationship with Him. Of course God may spend time with you other times of the day, but this is when He wants to spend time with me. I believe this is very common with God, as I've heard many ministers discuss this. God says, in the person of Wisdom, "I love them that love Me; and those that seek Me early shall find Me." (Proverbs 8:17)

The Bible calls itself a mirror. When one reads it one sees himself clearly, and how his life compares with its words. That morning I saw that my feelings toward God were improper. I realized first that I would rather be asleep. Isn't that pathetic, I would rather sleep than spend time with the Creator of everything, who loves me more than I can imagine. Then I saw that the only reason I spend time with God is to obtain things from Him (direction, money, etc.) Now I love God, and I will never say otherwise, but this reality showed that I loved His benefits more than I really love Him.

This was a difficult time of surprising clarity. I felt as much conviction from the Holy Spirit as I ever have. It would be easy not to write about this, but I believe this will help some of you. Never forget the wonderful passage about God's correction:

"And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness." (Hebrews 12:5-10)

Never forget that passage, so that you can always embrace His correction, repent, and run to His open arms. I knew that God was revealing my fault for my profit (verse 10 above). I knew that God wanted more for me and our relationship. I've heard Joyce Meyer wisely say that we must seek God's face and not His hand, I just never saw how badly I failed here. I prayed and meditated in God's presence and I heard Him. He showed me that Jesus didn't just come to restore our relationships to others; He also came to restore our relationship to God. It is natural that we don't love God properly. But, just as God, through the Holy Spirit, will help Christians obey all His instruction, He will help me love Him correctly. This was the revelation: that I needed God's supernatural assistance just to love Him correctly and that God was willing to provide this.

In the same way I can't truly change myself without God's power, I can't love God without God. And just as all of God's correction is for our good, God knows that our correct love for Him will always be best for us. What a wonderful God we serve! I know God wants our love because He loves us and wants a relationship with us, but God also wants our love simply because He knows this will be best for us. He is so loving and unselfish. He revealed my failure not to punish me, but to protect and profit me.

I can easily see all that God's done in my life. Maybe that isn't true for others, but it's sure true for me. I could easily be dead. I could easily be working a nothing job and going nowhere. In the natural I don't deserve anything I have. I can look at my entire life and see God's grace, protection and provision. I have as much reason to love God as anyone.

So I've fundamentally changed my reason for spending time with God. I previously spent time with God because everything about Him and true Christianity is wonderful, but mainly because I hoped the closer I got to Him the more I would get from Him. But, while that may be true, coming to God with that approach is not the way it works.

I now spend time with God simply because I love Him and He's wonderful. I make that declaration by faith, that this is my reason for spending time with God. God knows what I want and what I need. In prayer, by the Holy Spirit, He does lead me to pray for certain things. I know that this new position will be key to living the life God wants me to have. But this is not just a repositioning to get stuff. If I never get another thing from God, it's already enough.

Some time has passed now, and supernatural change has truly occurred. I have never woken up so easily, so refreshed and so excited for God. Every few days I must remind myself of this new position, as the cares of the world are always there. But each morning I feel God's loving presence with me as I open His Word or pray. I boldly declare that I'm going to love God properly, and I'm going to know Him as well as He can be known while in this flesh.

God is awesome. God is beautiful. God is wonderful. Those words don't begin to describe Him. There is nothing like having a relationship with Him and being in His presence. I'm done working to get stuff from Him. Now I'm going to spend time with Him just because I love Him and He loves me. His wonders will never cease to amaze, His beauty never dull, His presence never grow tiresome. No, not for eternity.

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Seize Your Days

on 1/05/2012

Lately we've been discussing work and money, and I sense a greater need than ever to hear clearly from God about my work and do whatever He says to do. So I've been meditating a lot of verses about work and God's provision. I also haven't been exactly slammed with work lately, which can bring about certain fears.

But the question isn't whether God will provide, His Word promises He will. The question is how should I spend my time. Whether you are self employed or not, you have time management questions that must be resolved with God's assistance. Right this second, there are a variety of things I could do, but I know God wants me to diligently work on this blog, so here we are. What has God spoken to you about doing? Are you doing it?

I don't mind being open about my schedule with you. God says that I must wake up early and spend time with Him. God says that I must be loving and patient with my family, and make time for them. God says that I should exercise (o.k. haven't started yet). God says that I should work on this blog. And in the evenings I should read books about Him by anointed teachers. Now I have a variety of clients with legal issues, and I work very hard for them. God doesn't tell me to do that specifically, but I know that I should (God doesn't need to tell me). But other than specific actions from time to time, God hasn't told me to do anything else.

Think about all the other things I could be doing. Perhaps I should be going to more church services, feeding the poor, or doing a variety of other things that would seem Godly. But God hasn't said to do those, (even though I would feel so much better about myself if I was doing something for those in need, notice that doesn't mean it would be of God). God has said to do what I've listed above, now I must do those things. There are so many distractions. There are so many opportunities that seem good. But I must constantly remember, "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 14:12)

That's a great verse to remember, especially when considering your options in life. God will show you what to do with your time, all you have to do is ask. "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6) That verse has been the foundation of my life, or at least a major part of it. I seek God about everything, constantly looking for His direction.

Once we have his direction, it's time to take it. Spend time with God in meditation and prayer, and He will show you how to spend your time. I encourage you to list those things you know God wants you to do. Then list those things you do that aren't on the first list. Is there interference between the activities? Perhaps you need to remove some items from your second list. Television is on my second list. If I'm going to exercise and read spiritual books, television time must be reduced. That's how it works folks.

Soon your entire life will be comprised of actions on the first list, things you absolutely know God wants you to do, and there is nothing wrong with that! When you remove the excess you free up time. Or you can reallocate time. One way or another God will fill your time with Godly activities (just because it doesn't have a Christian label doesn't mean it's not Godly). When your time is filled with Godly action you awake each day with drive and purpose, knowing that you are living for God. You go to sleep each night with rest and a sense of accomplishment, knowing that you did exactly what you were supposed to that day.

That is how we seize the day my friends. I'm as big a culprit of this as anyone, but we don't seize the day by watching mindless TV or sleeping in. We seize the day, and ultimately our lives, by allowing God to guide us and direct us in everything we do. This is a major key to fulfillment, rest and personal peace while you are walking with God in this life. "O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps."(Jeremiah 10:23)

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