Showing posts from October 4, 2017

The Veil Lifted

“Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”2 Corinthians 3:15-18 NIV
          I remember with distinct clarity when I discovered how desperately legalistic my thinking was. It felt as though the ground was literally shifting beneath my feet. My conception of the Father’s love was extremely limited and theoretical at best. As Jesus lifted the veil from my eyes my world was turned right side up for the first time. A reality brighter than I had ever dared hope for began to dawn.
           When the burden of my salvation shifted from my shoulders to my savior’s, life and light began pouring in. We have nothing to bring to the table but a bruised and…

Joy Filled Intercession

“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”Hebrews 12:2 NIV
          Jesus is never discouraged by our struggles. While our Savior carries our heaviest burdens, they never weigh him down. In our darkest moments he never loses sight of the joy which he knows lies ahead of us. We too can find strength in dwelling upon the beautiful potential God is capable of weaving into our lives and those for whom we pray.
          When we think and pray for our loved ones we should envision the joy and freedom which Jesus is able to give them rather the dwell on the desperate nature of their problems. Instead of a dismal wrestling, our intersession can be hopeful and invigorating. It is much easier to pray faith-filled prayers when our eyes are upon how mighty to save our God is rather than how messed up our loved ones are. 
Still Seeking His Face,Pastor Andrew


“One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.”Proverbs 11:24 NIV
          Scripture tells us that the love of money is the root of all evil. Earth’s economic system ensures that there will always be rich and poor. To love money is to love the power to accomplish one’s own happiness. The spirit of self-sufficiency which attends a love of money cripples saving faith. We will never reach out for that which we believe we can obtain for ourselves.
          Heaven has no currency. Blessings above are ever and always a free gift. We have a unique dynamic as Heavenly citizens still occupying earthly soil. While our hearts are being fashioned after the pattern of heaven, we still must navigate the world we live in and that includes earning a livelihood. 
          Money has the potential to be a rich blessing as long as we see it as a means to accomplishing good rather than simply ministering to our own happiness. Only when Jesus grows in value t…

What if we could peak into our future?

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
          We don't know what the future holds. We can't even peek into tomorrow. Our entire world can be fundamentally altered in a moment, in welcome and not so welcome ways. Wouldn't it be nice if we could invest in some contraption which allowed us to see what is headed our way in the years to come? The only thing better than that would be an all-wise, all-knowing personal guide to help us navigate the waters ahead. 
          Oh right… we have the latter, If we will but accept his leadership. It doesn't get any better than surrendering to the guidance of the one who both knows and controls the future. All-power and all-love is an unbeatable combination, why not take advantage of it? We can only pretend to have it together for so long before we come to terms with the reality of just how much we need his insight and love in ou…

Breaking The Mindset of Merit

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”James 1:17 ESV          Recently I have become keenly aware that I have vastly more than I deserve. I'm surrounded by priceless relationships and even material blessings. Several times the past few days I've had a pit in my stomach as I've considered this. The unconscious question has echoed in my mind, “what have I done to deserve this?” The answer hit me like a ton of bricks during devotions this morning, “Absolutely nothing!”
          It is difficult to see through God’s paradigm and overcome the limits of merit based thinking. There was nothing righteous about the pit in my stomach when I was considering all the things God has seen fit to bless me with. In actuality my stomach pain grew from viewing life, and shamefully, even my God, from a merit based perspective. 
          Every blessing which comes our way is complete…

Finding Peace

“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6 ESV
The opportunity to rest in perfect peace is available to each of us. Every time we share our heart with our Heavenly Father we can invite him to carry our burdens. Why then is it that sometimes we pray and do not experience the peace described above? 
“With Thanksgiving,” these two words give us vital context for the kind of prayer which will lead us to a place free of anxiety. Sometimes in our conversations with God we are driven by a spirit of complaint rather than gratitude. It is important to talk with God about the difficulties we face, but if we fail to do so in the context of gratitude we will find no peace. 
Thanksgiving may not feel possible at times, but gratitude is a choice not a feeling. The most faith filled prayers are those that are honest about the pain but which also refuse to believe any less about God in the mid…

The Magic Formula

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV
          There was a period in my life when both the shortness of time and the thought of death were deeply unsettling to me. I believed I had way too much growing to do before I could confidently meet my maker. This was due to a twisted picture of God and how we actually grow up in him.
          I was a careful student, I filled journals with detailed notes from speakers who “revealed” the secrets to staying on the straight and narrow path. Somehow the more “spiritual insight” I gained about walking in victory the more ashamed and miserable I became when my best efforts still ended in defeat. 
          Most of us tend toward a search for the magic formula when we begin our journey out of darkness. Sadly, this leads only into further darkness from which some never return. Jesus is able to lead us away from our term…

Awakening to our Need

“Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.” Psalms 25:16 ESV
King David knew that his only claim to God’s mercy was his need. We have never, and will never, be worthy, but thankfully we don't have to be. God is uniquely attracted to our brokenness, he is moved by our desperate condition. 
We don't need to impress Him, we just need to be honest about our situation. If you don’t see your need, that is ok, he is able and willing to open your eyes if you will let him. 
It is extraordinarily difficult to be delivered from the paradigm of earned favor, but God is working to show you that  his love and deliverance come free of charge. The choice to believe this is yours, use your measure of faith and experience the beauty of heaven’s healing.
Still Seeking His Face,Pastor Andrew

From the Hand to the Heart

“Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.”Psalms 25:5 ESV
Some of the greatest expressions of trust are demonstrated by simply waiting. We do this when amidst questions and apparently unanswered prayers we continue the conversation between our heart and His. 
Abraham did a lot of waiting upon God to fulfill promises. The patriarch’s story reveals that God’s greatest gifts are realized not in spite of delays but as a result of them. In the end Abraham grew to love The Giver more than even his most precious of gifts. 
What appears to have started as a means to an end (Abraham’s interaction with God) finally became the end itself. Abraham’s relationship with God became the prize and the precious promises which attended that relationship were able to take their rightful place as icing on the cake.
Because we are relationally broken our natural interactions are self-serving. But God is not intimidated by any of this. He is not of…

Not a Two-way Street

“And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.”Genesis 15:6 ESV
Abraham did one thing particularly well, he believed God. In spite of contrary circumstances and his own shortcomings, Abraham chose to believe that God would fulfill his promises. The longer Abraham journeyed with God the more aware he became of his inability to contribute to the covenant in any way beyond his choice to believe God. All of God’s promises lay completely out of the reach of mortal man’s ability to contribute. 
The covenant God invites us into is not a two way street. The children of Israel missed this point, in their mistrust and fear they refused God’s friendship and instead pledged themselves to an obedience they were utterly incapable of accomplishing. 
When declaring his righteousness from the mountain and what kind of a people he was inviting them to be, the Hebrews promised to do all that God required of them. What they failed to discern was that God was declaring to them the kind…

Self Dies Slow

“Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”Romans 7:24-25 ESV
Freedom in its purest form exists only when we lose sight of ourselves in the light of God’s greatness. Between conversion and translation a war is being waged within us which ends in the utter crucifixion of selfishness. 
Our fallen nature is never redeemed it simply dies a slow death as it is continually edged out by Christ’s righteousness. Even as we are dying to self it will seek to manipulate our thoughts and feelings. This is why we are called to take each thought and emotion captive. While evil comes from within it does not defile us unless we grant it a voice.
Instead of being horrified and ashamed of the temptations which we experience we can expect them. Temptation is a result of sin, yet it is not our enemy. If with every temptation we run to our Sa…

Covenant, what is it?

“The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.”Psalms 25:14 ESV

         What is God’s covenant? It isn’t something we are born comprehending. As every good father, the deepest desire of God’s heart is to care for and minister to the happiness of his children. 
          Have you ever found yourself watching someone you love thoroughly enjoying themselves? Is there not something extraordinarily beautiful about witnessing another’s happiness? God’s covenant is a relational dynamic engineered to protect and deepen our joy. God invites us to trust him to completely and unreservedly take care of us.
          The greatest barrier between many and stepping into a covenant relationship with God is acknowledging they have nothing to bring to the table. God instigates, empowers, and sustains both sides of the equation. What then is our part? We say yes. Through the daily conversation we simply continue inviting God to do what only he can do. It is…

Always Hopeful

“O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me.”Psalms 25:2 ESV
          When we trust in Jesus we need not ever be ashamed. Because those who are in Christ Jesus are free from the burden of condemnation, even when we stumble we have reason to be hopeful. To have our eyes on Jesus is to have our eyes on the big picture, the ultimate victory and deliverance that is promised. At any point along our journey we can claim to be more than conquerors through the one who loves us.
Still Seeking His Face,Pastor Andrew

Real Prayer Works

“Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.”Psalms 25:4-5 ESV
          Everything we need is only a prayer away. There is a particular kind of prayer that faithfully yields results. When we come just to be with Jesus and learn of him our deepest needs are miraculously met.           The reason so many have concluded that prayer doesn't work is because they have approached it as a magic formula rather than the overflow of relationship. We also tend to ask for the wrong stuff.
          If we would spend more time just talking to God as to a friend we would begin discerning health and healing that we have not even asked for. If God knows our deepest needs is it not enough for us just to come to be with him? 
          The most powerful prayers are ones of honest conversation. This dynamic gives Jesus access to accomplish love’s purpose in our life. 
Still Seeking His F…

Sexuality and Marrriage

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV
Some of the most confusing questions regarding right and wrong are in relation to our sexuality. Why did God design a life-long exclusive union between a man and woman as the only appropriate context for us to exercise this gift? Is it fair that scripture does not give license for everyone to experience their sexuality as they wish? What about those who are single, or those who experience same sex attraction?
The enemy is desperate to rob the universe of the revelation of God’s character through the illustration of marriage. This divinely established family unit is the most fundamental challenge to evil’s purposes and has been under attack from its very inception. Marriage testifies to the complimentary and unique union of the Godhead whose purpose is the celebration of love and the creation of life. The God who des…

God’s Constant vs. Our Emotions

Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me! Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.”   Psalms 25:8, 20 ESV

In verse 8 of the 25th Psalm King David makes an invaluable observation. God’s pursuit of us is based upon Divine goodness. It has nothing to do with what we have to offer, have earned, or deserve. This is what makes God so mighty to save. His love for us does not rise and fall like the variable ocean of our emotions.
Run to him as you are, and continue with him as you are. We tend to be obsessed with superficial successes and failures, but continuing the conversation amidst the good, bad, and the ugly is the only victory which is ultimately consequential. Faith is the choice to believe that his love is a constant based on His merits not yours. Because of this, the relationship can move forward in spite of the conscious and unconscious mistakes we make every day.
Because David accepted God’s unchanging declaration of love, he could confidently appeal the way he does later in th…

Family Reflects God’s Image

“Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness...”  Genesis 1:26 ESV
         When the Godhead came together to create man something wonderful was revealed. It was the intention that God’s nature would be further articulated in the various dynamics of the human family. A faithful husband, a loving wife, a tender father, a nurturing mother and an affectionate child. Each of these relational roles speak to the character of God.
          Illustrated in the human family is the reality that God is a relational being whose greatest pleasure is found in giving and sustaining life. Humanity was born at a time in which the universe needed a particular revelation of God. The creation of the family unit was especially engineered to demonstrate the humble self-giving love of our Heavenly Father. 
          Created in God’s image we have an opportunity and ability to manifest God’s love to our fellow man in a profound way. The potential for this reality is greatest within the…

24/7 Love

“"Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” Isaiah 1:18 ESV
Intelligent winsome logic motivated by love, this how God seeks to win us over. Guilt, fear, and shame are not part of his playbook. Our feelings of condemnation and despair are not from above. While discouraging emotions are very real, they do not tell the truth. Jesus wants you every minute of every day. You have the power to believe this, even if it feels impossible to accept. 
Still Seeking His Face,Pastor Andrew 

No Shame Only Healing in Christ

“I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.”The Song of Solomon 8:4
          Will we trust God with our sexuality even amidst the confusion of a sexually broken world? God desires to bring healing into every corner of our lives. He is not put off or disgusted with our mess, rather he is filled with pity and compassion. God accepts us right where we are, will we believe this? 
          Sexual brokenness is particularly difficult to face, it is immersed in so much guilt and shame that it takes tremendous courage to even acknowledge it. But if we will bring the brokenness of our sexuality to Jesus he can heal us. 
Still Seeking His Face,Pastor Andrew

Love Has Laws

“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”Genesis 2:24 NIV
          God’s Love is limitless but it does have boundaries. Contrary to what many believe, love has laws. Love’s guidelines, however, do not limit its reach or depth but rather increase them. Just as God has established laws to govern the natural world, so he has placed laws to protect and uplift the manifestation of love in relationships. The laws of love set in place to govern the way we express our sexuality are designed to expand not restrict our happiness. 
          God’s government and character are defined by love. Everything our Heavenly Father does ministers to the life and happiness of the universe. When God created Adam and Eve he designed them for maximum fulfillment. He placed Adam and Eve in a world uniquely adapted to minister to their happiness. In His infinite wisdom, God placed Adam and Eve within a unique, exclusive, and complimentary covenant.