When Your Road is Blocked

Last time, I wrote about the dynamics of waiting. Sometimes, like David, we have to wait for God. He may not fulfill our calling right away. Part of waiting is learning to be content with whatever He gives us, or wherever He puts us.

I admit, I have a hard time being content. I’ve got vision. I want to do a lot! But I’ve also got three little boys that I love a lot. So when I hit a roadblock, I stop and think about it. Maybe that roadblock is an obstacle put there by God. Maybe I’ve asked God to open a door, and He says no. Maybe He says, “It’s not worth it to you to chase that ministry out there, not if it makes you forget the number one ministry right here.” So He closes the door.

I do think that God closes doors. He closes them for all kinds of reasons. He might have something else He wants you to do. He might not think you’re ready. He might not want you to get so busy with new tasks that you forget what you were called to do in the first place. So sometimes He’s going to put up a wall, even if it means that you’re going to run right into it. You’re going to have to be okay with it.

I’m not necessarily content when that happens! It can be frustrating to hit a roadblock, or find that a door is closed to you. I might say, “God, I feel like you’re restraining me. Why won’t you let me run free? I can do some good here, if you’ll just let me!” But He hears that, and He says, “You can’t do anything good. You can only do good through me. When I say no, I don’t care how much good you think you can do. It’s not worth it!”

It’s only through God and in Him that we can bring His Kingdom. We prepare the horse for battle, but the victory is His. (Prov. 21:31) We prepare for the things we want to do. We set the goals. But He delivers. If you hit a roadblock and He wants you to get around it, He’ll just flick it out of the way. So if He doesn’t remove it, it’s for a good reason.

If He’s saying not now, then it’s not now. It’s okay. Why not wait until He says you’re ready? He doesn’t want you to go through a door when you’re not sufficiently mature, spiritually or mentally, to be able to handle what will come. He can see when an opportunity would be good, but He can also see when your heart is not ready. He’ll block you if it’s not going to be good for you. And then He’ll prepare you.

Instead of getting frustrated with Him, or fighting your way through roadblocks, why not try listening to Him? Try asking and listening, asking and listening. Try saying, “God, here’s my heart. Here’s why I want to do this thing. Here’s why I’d like to get around that obstacle. I would really like to be able to do that, but only if I can do it through you. And until you say it’s time, I’ll be content.”

God isn’t saying don’t plan. He directs your steps, but your heart plans the way. (Prov. 16:9) Let your heart dream. Go ahead and tell Him. And then, just be open. He will make the way plain for you (Ps. 5:8).

See you Thursday.

Waiting for a Call

And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.” So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. 1 Samuel 16:11-13

As a young shepherd in Bethlehem, David got his call – to be King of Israel! And what happened next? Nothing! He went back to his sheep! God anointed him king, but David had to wait 15 years to get there.

Eventually, he was chased and persecuted by King Saul. He ran, he hid out in caves, and he survived by his wits. He had been called to the throne! And he didn’t get there for 15 years!

I think we want our call in 15 minutes. So David’s story is instructive. He had to wait, man. He had to wait a long time to become king.

Waiting for a call can be tough, although hopefully not as tough as it was for David. Is there anything you can do while you wait? Yes! Just open your heart. Open your heart up to God, your Father, and say, “All right, what do you want me to do? Anything you want me to do, I’ll do it. I just want to serve you.”

Sometimes you need to ask Him. “I am a child of yours, and I would love to go out and be a part of something that’s just awesome. If now is not the time, okay! But I’d really like to go, if it would be okay with you. I would love it.” And then just see what He says. If He says no, then that’s okay. Keep doing what you’re doing. If He says yes, He’ll make it happen.

I think sometimes God wants you to ask. If you never ask, you’ll never know. That’s why the Bible says to keep asking. “You have not because you ask not.” (James 4:2) But don’t forget, if you’re going to ask, you better be ready for the answer! If the answer’s no, you need to be okay with that. You may be disappointed. That’s fine! But you’ll need to get over it.

And you may just need to find your joy. Joy is not necessarily always in doing. Sometimes joy is just being where you’re at. I think that’s important to God too. Sometimes He wants you to just be. Be content sometimes. Be content with the calling you already have. Be content for now. When He feels like you have matured enough and you can handle what’s in store for you, He’ll call you and send you out. But until then, just be content.

In the long run, you’re going to be happier because you waited. If you do something that you think is so great, but you do it outside of God, you’re going to be disappointed. If He lets you go before you’re ready, you’re going to be miserable. And then you’re not going to like what you’re doing. You won’t find your joy. God doesn’t want that for you. What would be the point? Wait until He calls, because then you’ll find joy. Remember, Kingdom work is joyful!

More on this next time. See you Monday.

We Need More Ammo

Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?…If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well. James 2:5, 8

Doing God’s work is filled with joy. Love your neighbor as yourself! I mean, that’s joy! It’s the royal law, the commandment of the Kingdom of God. The trumpets sound, and the King says, “Go and love.” That’s the warriors’ command from the King. The trumpets sound, and Jesus says, “Love your neighbor as yourself, and love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.”

So go and love your neighbor. That’s your war cry! Leave the Kingdom walls, figure out what is wrong with your neighbors, and love on them. Don’t worry about having the means to do it. Trust God for that! When you need help, send word to the King. Tell Him, “We’re filling a need here, and we need more resources.” He’ll provide what He needs to provide.

Imagine this as if it were a movie about medieval Europe. The king’s forces have gone to war, and there’s a moment when the tide of battle seems to be turning against them. They realize, “We need more men!” What do they do? They send word to the king. What does the king do? He provides more men! When they run out of anything, they send a courier to the castle. “Tell the king we need more ammo.” Or, “Tell him we need more food.” The king sends food, ammo, or whatever his forces need.

God will provide for you. Pray, and the Holy Spirit will go to the Father and speak some words. We don’t necessarily understand what the Spirit says, but we know it means something like, “Hey, your daughter needs something.” There’s no doubt in my mind that God replies, “Go and give it to her.” He says, “My child says we need more ammo, or food, or men, or tents? That’s my child! I’ll give him or her what he or she needs.”

That’s what the Bible says. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6) Does this mean that if you ask for a million dollars, He’s going to say yes? I don’t think so. He’ll ask, “Does my son need a million, or does he want a million?” Those are two different things! But whatever you need, God will give it to you.

We can trust the King of Kings because we are His children! As members of His family, we say, “I am a part of God’s Kingdom, so I am going to go forth to fulfill the royal law. I’m going to get on my horse and go out of the gate and into the world. I’m going to love my neighbor, and when I do that, I’m going to represent the Kingdom of God.”

We go out even if we don’t have any money. We go out even if we don’t have the resources lined up. Just send word to God. Pray. Tell Him, “I need a way to get more ammo so that I can love on my neighbors. They are in need, God!” He will give you the ammo you need. Jobs will open up. Maybe a donor will come along and offer to help you. God will provide. Trust Him in this.

The Bible says we’re all royalty now, since we have heard and responded to Jesus. We are all holy and righteous. This is what God means when He says, “You are mine now.” You are His child. And as a child of the King, you are a prince or princess of the Kingdom, God’s precious child.

More on this next time. See you Thursday.

Kingdom Dialogue

Kingdom theology invites us to think about what it’s like to be in the family of the King of Kings. So let’s think about it. When the king — your Dad — says, “I need you to go out and do something for me,” you go out and do it!

I want to go out there. I want to leave the Kingdom walls. I want to bring the aroma of Christ to everybody. If God asks me to go out and provide clean water for people, I want to go! I want to go so that I can bring clean water. I want to love my neighbor as myself. Love connects, and I want to connect with people. I want to talk with them. I want dialogue.

I want to say, “Look, I see you need water. I want to give it to you.” That starts the conversation. That opens the door to dialogue. And when they ask me why I’m helping them, I’ll get to say, “Because I love you.” They’ll ask me,”Why do you love me? You don’t even know me!” And that’s when I’ll get to say, “I love you because of God. The one I call my Dad. He loves you! He loves everybody! He loves humanity. So here I am. I’m here for you, and I’m going to love on you.”

When I see people who can’t eat, I’m going to help provide food. They might ask me, ”How are you going to feed us?” And that’s when I’ll get to say, ”I’m going to ask God, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He commands everything, and He will help me get food to you. He will give me the right food program. He will help me involve people — hundreds of people — in making packages of food for you. They love you too! And even if He doesn’t give me a program, He will still help me feed you. He’s going to allow me to take two loaves and a fish and feed all of you with it. He does all of this because He loves you, and I love you because He loves you.

“And when you’ve eaten, and your children are healthy because their water doesn’t make them sick, then I’m going to tell you why He loves you. When you can trust my voice, I’m going to tell you what it means that He loves you. And I’m going to invite you to come and be a part of His family, in His Kingdom.”

When I get sent out from the Kingdom of Heaven, to enter the world in order to serve, and to heal, and to dialogue, that’s joy, man. That’s joy, even though it’s not always easy. More on this next time. See you Monday.

Leaving the Kingdom Walls

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful.
Psalm 1:1

I’ve been freed in the last couple of years more than I’ve ever been freed before, because now I understand who I am. I’ve been freed because of grace.

Sometimes Christians that grew up in the church don’t want to hang with non-Christians. They say, “Oh, I’m not supposed to surround myself with people of that nature.” But you can’t tell me that! You can’t tell me that I can’t hang with non-Christians because I’m going to be tempted to be like them. That’s taking the verse out of context. It’s nonsense! I’ve answered the call, man. So I’ve got to leave the Kingdom walls.

It’s only by going outside the Kingdom walls that I will find the people that are hurting. I love Jesus and I follow Him, and Jesus left a pretty awesome spot in Heaven to come down here and deal with us and our sin and shame. Think about it. He left a really awesome spot. And He didn’t do it just to hang out with people who didn’t need Him! He said, “I don’t help the ones that don’t need doctors. I help those who are sick.” (Matthew 9:12) He wasn’t talking only about disease, either. He said He came to help those who are sick. Sick.

We have to do the same as He did. If we don’t go out and hang with those who are sick, then what are we doing? If we don’t go outside the Kingdom walls and say, “Let me tell you about Jesus,” then what are we doing? If we don’t go out there where people are hurting and do something to help them, then what is the point? Loving our neighbors as Jesus loved us is the whole point of life! If there’s no reason to do that, then I don’t need to be here. You might as well just kill me right now and take me home.

But there is every reason to do that. Jesus said, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment.” And then Jesus said, “And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.Mark 12:28-31

No greater commandment than these. So how could I possibly want to do any less?

Who Am I?

In the last few weeks, I’ve had a lot to say about sin and grace. Jesus died for us. And when He did that, He served as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Because of His crucifixion, death, and resurrection, we are free. We don’t have to make reparations before we can be in the presence of God, our Father. Not any more. He knows we will sin. We are in our flesh, so we can’t help it. We can’t help it! But when we sin, Jesus walks through it with us. He is right there. He loves us.

I’ve come to truly understand what it means to be a saint who sins. Discipleship is my identity. Who am I? Do you ever ask yourself that? I know who I am. I am a holy and righteous child of God. I mess up. I definitely mess up. But He loves me. He is in me, and He is with me. Who am I? Someone who wants to be just like Him. I am a man after God’s own heart.

Think about Jesus. He looked at people and He wept for them. Think about Lazarus. Jesus knew He was going to raise that guy from the dead. Yet still He wept. Why? Because He saw Mary’s heart breaking, and it grieved Him. This is who He is! So it’s a part of who I am. When I hear about people who are suffering, it grieves me. That’s the identity in which I live.

I love God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength. I love my neighbor as myself. So God sends me out of His Kingdom and into the world. He sends me to where people are hurting.

I help fund wells so that families can have water to drink that doesn’t make them sick. I help hungry people get something to eat. I help orphans get into homes with moms who will take care of them. I help free the slaves — men, women, and children trafficked in work, sex, or soldier situations. They’re not allowed to leave. They’re locked up when they are not being used. I help them.

I don’t do it because I have to. I don’t do it because I’m afraid that God won’t see me or smile on me if I don’t. I do it because it’s who I am. The love of Jesus is part of who I am. Loving my neighbor as myself is part of who I am. When I know my neighbor is suffering, it grieves me. This who I am.

Two Roads, Two Rooms

I’ve been with the Truefaced guys for two or three years now. In that time, I’ve learned a lot from them about sin, grace, and freedom. And I’ve written a lot about it here!

John Lynch is one of these guys. He’s a former high school teacher that got saved by his students. He has an interest in the performing arts, so he delivers his messages with Broadway theatricality. You’ll like him! He’s very funny and really passionate. He’s a great storyteller.

His “Two Roads” message is on YouTube, and it’s incredible. I know a guy that calls it “the .44 Magnum for life,” since the video is just about 44 minutes long.

Watch it! You’ll be so refreshed. It will change your life! My life’s already been changed, and still I could listen to this video every day. You’ll say, “I really have permission to see life like this?”

You’ll say, “This is awesome!”