"Trying to do the Lord’s work in your
own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But
when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows
out of you." ~ Corrie Ten Boom
Spirit filled souls are ablaze for
God. They love with a love that glows. They serve with a faith that kindles.
They serve with a devotion that consumes. They hate sin with fierceness that
burns. They rejoice with a joy that radiates. Love is perfected in the fire of
God. ~ Samuel Chadwick
"Our greatest victories are rarely won in an
instant, but in the morning-by-morning application of His truth and power which
overthrows the strongholds of darkness in our world and secures His purpose in
us." ~ Jack Hayford
I'm so excited about this series called Praying Circles! We are reading through The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson together, meeting in small groups to discuss it, and I'm preaching along with the themes of the book! I'm having a blast praying circles!
Those two words together
stir emotion, fear, and maybe even a few memories. I remember as a kid looking
over at the “High Dive” at our local pool, getting excited to climb up there up
there and leap off with a reckless abandonment! I must admit that the first
time I climbed to the top was not exactly the fearless feat I had envisioned.
When I got to the top, fear gripped me to the core. I could hardly move, and I was
sure that everyone in Shawnee, Kansas was watching me! I was frozen with fear,
and didn’t know what to do. I ended up fearfully climbing back down that ladder
in what felt like a cowardly walk of shame. I was totally embarrassed by my
lack of courage that seemed so easy to others. The lifeguards noticed my
cowardly act, and one came over to encourage me to conquer my fear that day.
She said, “I’ve seen you swim, I’ve seen you dive, and I know you are ready for
the high dive!” She was so encouraging and said she would be right there ready
to help if I got into trouble. I am happy to report that later that day I was
able to muster enough courage to climb back up that ladder, and though it
wasn’t the Olympic quality dive I had envisioned, I did jump off feet first! That
was the first of what would become countless jumps, dives, flips, twists,
cannon balls, and other reckless attempts at the “amazing” from diving boards,
cliffs, rope swings, bike jumps, and anything else my childhood friends could
dream up! I fell in love with the thrill that comes with those two words, “Dive in"!
As I look back at that first
jump, I’m so grateful for the lifeguard who encouraged me & told me that I
could do it! Many times, people feel a lot like I did with that high dive when
it comes to things like Prayer, Fasting, & Bible reading. They look at
connecting with their creator in a powerful way with the same excitement that I
did with that high dive, but then fear they don’t have what it takes to finish
with a beautiful dive into a deep spiritual life. Sometimes, people refuse to even
make the attempt for fear of failure. I want to encourage you today! Just like
that lifeguard did with me, I want to tell you that you do have what it takes
to “Dive in”! It’s not about flawless form, spiritual greatness, or perfect
prayers. It’s about overcoming fear, and focusing on Jesus by faith. It’s
choosing to take the simple steps needed to draw near to God. You can do this!
Talk to God today! Set aside some time to be with Him! Move “Jesus Time” to the
top of your priority list. When you do, you may feel a little like I did on
that high dive, but you can do this! I am so glad I climbed back up that day,
and took that leap of faith! You will be to! So, "Dive in"!
As we enter 2014, we are
focusing on Prayer, Fasting, and God’s Word! We’ve provided some tools to help
you Dive in on our website. You can access it by going to the Life Church website. www.lifechurch.org