Many of us know this story well. Jesus tells His disciples to get into the boat and go to the other side of the lake. He was not joining them, so perhaps they thought He will catch another boat.
Our perceptions of what we think God is asking us to do…and the end result are often not even close to what God had in mind when He gave us the instructions.
It’s in the midst of THAT...that’s where your faith is tested!
Prior to this, in John 6, Jesus tested His disciples with a challenge to feed the crowd who had been with them all day. They failed that test. So, He showed them how to walk on in faith and get the job done. (6-14)
Now, it was time to test them again.
Did they learn from that experience watching Him demonstrate exercising faith in God?
This time He told them to get in the boat and cross the lake.
Simple instructions. A familiar trip. We can do this. Away they went.
Evening came. Then, the darkness of night. A strong wind...
"...a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." "...longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul." (Proverbs 13:12 & 19)
"O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You, my body longs for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
I have seen You in the sanctuary and beheld Your power and Your glory." (Psalms 63:1-2)
When we thirst for God a longing rises up from within. Nothing quenches a parched soul except His presence. As we drink deeply of Him, it is a tree of life to us. It is sweet to the soul and we are made whole spirit, soul and body.
David spoke of experiencing God's presence in the sanctuary. Today it's often thought that this sanctuary is the local church building. Not so!
Jesus didn't die for buildings. He gave His life blood to redeem fallen man. Once born again, we are His sanctuary, a temple made without human hands. A place for Him to dwell. (John 3; Acts 7:48; 17:24-25)
The sanctuary David referred...
I've always loved the imagery of the guys going down the road to the city of Emmaues. As they were "walking and talking," Jesus joined them and entered into the conversation.
Something amazing always transpires when we make time to "walk and talk." Hearts are softened, layers of "life" are shared, sweet communion and fellowship transpire.
Luke 24 records the "walk and talk" that Jesus had with these guys discussing the events that had just transpired in Jerusalem.
In my Holy Ghost imagination, I picture Jesus enjoying this conversation. Especially since He was a first-hand witness to all the events.
It was His death and resurrection they were in deep conversation over.
As they approached their home, Jesus made it appear as though He was going to continue His journey and leave their company. They were adamant that He must come and join them for a meal.
In the breaking of bread, (fellowship) the Scriptures tell us, their eyes were opened. They recognized Him. Then He...
Physical hunger is a driving force in our lives. It moves us to action.
However, when we don't feel well or go through a difficult trial we can lose our appetite.
Spiritual hunger works the same way.
Our born-again spirit man was created to hunger for God and His presence. When we are hungry for Him we seek time to be with Him.
When we go through painful situations or hardship (if we don't pay attention) we can lose our appetite for God's presence.
We become distracted and focused on "that." We may dutifully read our Bible or pray through our prayer list, but we do it listlessly and without passion as we've allowed the "trial" to take over our desire for Him.
Pharaoh was the food provider for the children of Israel when they were in captivity. God freed them and He became their provider. Each day He gave them manna. They were allowed to pick up all they wanted for that day. On the sixth day they could take enough for the 7th day, the Sabbath.
If they took more than they...
"Make room for us in your hearts." II Corinthians 7:2
Like a house with many rooms you have many of them in your heart.
Paul implored the believers in Corinth to make space for him in their lives.
He was making that request because He had previously written a strong letter exposing a situation they needed to address. It wasn't received well.
They took it as criticism and were offended. This opened the door for others to come in and discredit Paul.
Over time, however, the matter he wrote rose to the forefront and they saw how Paul had tried to spare them.
In the meantime, offense separated them. Paul was addressing this gap and asking them to open the door again.
Paul didn't regret the critique he had given. He did, in the sense that initially, they were hurt by it. His intent, however, was not to bring pain but to warn.
When God gives a warning it's not always for a reason or reasons you can perceive at the time.
God sees from such a higher,...
Back in 1979 one of the most popular sitcoms was "Happy Days" which aired on Tuesdays around 7 p.m. The show started and the doorbell rang. It was Gary and Judy Bauer making their debut KAM visit. We were the family God directed them to contact. We had just met and they asked us to turn off the TV!! What?
I was raised Catholic and thought I knew a lot about God. This had better be important. I was sincere about God, but sincerely missing something and I didn't even have a clue what. God knew and He used Gary and Judy to get through to me. I received the greatest miracle of my entire life. I became a new creature in Christ that evening.
Things began to change immediately, mainly my mindset. Nothing was the same anymore. My perspective on life took on new understanding. God put in me a...
"Gain clarity on how to be aligned with your life purpose"
Chelley Antonczak is founder and CEO of Chelley Antonczak & Associates, a company dedicated to helping Christian Businesswomen gain clarity on how to be aligned with their life purpose. Chelley has developed a proven process to help women design a life they love!
Her heart’s desire is to see Christian businesswomen collaborating to make an impact as influencers for the Kingdom of God! Chelley is a speaker, consultant, transformational trainer, and private coach. Her background includes extensive experience in leadership development, spiritual transformation, brain-based learning design and international business.
Chelley has also led a non-profit ministry focused on spiritual development, outreaches, and retreat events over the past fifteen years.
Connect with Coach Chel:
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"Everything has purpose."
Recently I watched a movie and then read a book on The Holocaust. The horrors depicted there are too many to comprehend. The resiliency of the human spirit shone through them both.
Forgiveness, gratitude and recognizing God's hand in their midst of their traumas caused me to re-evaluate my own heart's posture.
What the majority of us will ever experience in life is insignificant compared to what those precious people endured and suffered at the hand of manifested evil against humanity.
In my life, I have had tragic and traumatizing experiences where I thought "this is it...it's over." And yet, here I am still doing what I love, helping people come alive and thrive in Christ. How is that possible? I've discovered a secret: Everything has purpose.
1. It tests my heart towards God. Mad or glad. Hateful or grateful. Distrust or greater trust. Turning away or turning toward. Bitter or better. Hard or Soft. What will my response be to...
Cling to Hope
"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." James 5:16
I must confess that over the last few weeks I feel like I have been in the boxing ring of life and knocked down hard, with the overwhelming feeling of defeat. I have experienced it spiritually, mentally and physically. I have arrived where the deepest hurts and wounds – those that seem to define me for my entire life - is being brought to the place where Dr. Jesus can do what is needed. It's raw, exposed and it hurts – overwhelmingly so.
I confess too, that I am believing that this “down for the count” experience will lead to a radical life changing victory. Defeat is part of life. I was thinking about the story of the woman with the issue of blood who touched the hem of Jesus' garment and was healed.
43 "Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who...
"Defeat is temporal, but only if you do something about it."
Defeated means: (a) Having been defeated in a battle or contest. “The defeated army” Yep, that’s right. It means you lost; you have been beaten; victory was not yours.
I don’t know anyone that likes to lose. It’s not a nice feeling. It gets you down, it makes you miserable and can even make you depressed. But defeat is part of life. We all experience defeat at some stage in our lives. Individuals, teams, organizations, armies, governments and even entire nations know defeat. We see it in news headlines, on television, we read it on social media.
But we also read it in the Bible. Yep, defeat is in the Bible! It’s not created by man or the devil. God uses it in His greater plan for us. Sometimes we need defeat to bring us to our knees. Sometimes we need defeat to realize that we are out of God’s will. Sometimes it's through our own doings, our own...