Taking God Out of the Box

Good morning!


I’ve been looking for ways to increase my prayers and make them more meaningful when I ran across this book “Did You Think to Pray?” by R.T. Kendall. It’s about how God loves us and wants to talk with each of us. It speaks about how prayer gives us the privilege of access to the ultimate power…God. I started using this in my church school message with my Senior High students to encourage us to do the following: increasing our prayer time, praying consistently and not just when we need something and praying with a purpose.

Pastor Kay and I were on the same path when he delivered yesterday’s sermon. It’s the passage where Paul is praying for the Ephesians. What I love about this passage is that it shows you how to pray. Prayer with a specific message that has a clear beginning, middle and end.

Bible Verse: Ephesians 3:14-20 King James Version
“Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians”

Overview:

We limit God to what we have asked for. We tie our blessings into our material possessions: our house, our car, our jobs, etc. God can do so much more for us today than material possessions. He sits at the throne in Heaven ready to blow your mind. He wants you to know that He can do so much more for you than you’re allowing Him to do. Examples:
  • You asked God for a job and He gave you a career.
  • You asked Him for a mate and He gave you a spouse.
The same God that was able to heal in the Bible can still heal today. It’s the same God. I’ve tried God for myself and know He is real because I’ve petitioned Him for one thing and received so much more. God can go beyond what we’re thinking at the moment. There is nothing too great for our God. God is so big that you can rest and rely on Him because He will take care of you. We must learn to stop putting God in a box so He can just do his thing.

Key Points:

How do we begin to take God out of our box?

1. When we realize we should never limit our prayers to a petition.

In the 20th verse of Ephesians, Paul ends his petition with a doxology (means praise). He moves his petition (verses 14-19) to praise. Paul allowed his petition to lead him into prayer…”Now unto Him…” Has anybody ever prayed and had your prayers turn into praise sessions. That’s what Paul did. He’s recognizing that God can do all things and I can bother him anytime I want because it’s only Him that can do it.

2. By recognizing that God is omnipotent (all power). Paul says “Now toHim who is able to do...” If you don’t believe God is able you will not have an authentic salvation. Salvation is rooted in the fact that there was a Savior. He overcame the trials you are going through. When you don’t have salvation: young ladies will answer to names that are not their own; young men will worry about having street cred instead of kingdom cred.

He is able and we need to recognize that.

3. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think…” Paul points out that God is able to blow your mind. Paul says exceeding abundantly in this passage. It may not be proper grammar, but Paul knew that if you took God out of your box and let him, He could blow your mind. If we’re authentic in our belief, we don’t just come to church when we need God, but even when we don’t. God is blessing you so that you can be a blessing to someone else. It’s no secret what God can do. Know that He is able. We are the testimonies of what God can do. God has placed something inside of you to recognize what God can do. You need to know your real story, true story, uncut version. The version that can’t be played in movie theaters or written in books. The story that no good folks know about. The story that would have had your momma smacking you from here to kingdom come. God knows, but He still loves you. You are his testimony, so take him out of the box.

Be blessed!

God Can Handle Your Storm

Hi Everyone,
In keeping with my personal motto for 2011, “Faithfully Moving Forward”, I decided to do a virtual prayer circle via e-mail. Using our social networking to spread the Gospel. We are all in need of prayer and encouragement. I need it and I hope you do too. So, with that being said, I wanted to send you notes from my service and comments to encourage your soul for the week.
Pastor Duane Kay preached the title “God Can Handle Your Storm” from Mark 4:35-41

Bible Verse: Mark 4:35-41 (New International Version, ©2011)

Title of the Bible Verse: Jesus Calms the Storm

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
Jesus taught disciples through his application and actions of the word. Jesus was trying to build their faith is what the text teaches us. To build your faith and our faith in Him so we can learn to trust him in any and all circumstances. We want to live our lives on easy street. When we have it easy we tend to neglect our time of prayer and study and service to God. My God can handle what I can’t. There’s not a situation we face that God can’t handle. God will not leave me even when God knows what’s coming. The Lord will not abandon you.
Jesus knows there is an enemy trying to steal your joy, dishearten you, depress and despise you. Your enemy is trying to make you feel confused and abused. The lightening can flash, the storms can billow, but God is still with you. The problem is that when we know we need Jesus in the midst of our trials, tribulations and struggles we seek Jesus and see him displaying peculiar behavior (Jesus was asleep during the storm). When the disciples went to get Him, they see Jesus in the boat asleep on a pillow. The Lord was comfortable in adverse positions. When you learn to trust and rest on His promises you can know that it will work out even though your boat is rocking and the storms are billowing, you will be at peace. Trust in Jesus. Trust in our God.
I pray that this week finds you well rested and learning to trust in our God. He will protect you.
Be encouraged and know that you are loved, fabulous and blessed!

Understanding and Accepting Yourself

“Don’t let anything stand in the way of you claiming and manifesting the life that you choose rather than the life you have by default.” – Joy Page

I came across this quote while doing research on a speech for Toastmasters. I thought that it was deep and insightful. I started thinking about myself and my friends. I started thinking about our relationships with each other and our relationships with ourselves and I wondered: How many times have I watched someone I love going down the wrong path and felt helpless to do something? How many times have I seen people blame the product of their environment or their generational curses on their situation instead of claiming their destiny?

One of the things that I have learned on my Christian journey is that the God I serve is an all encompassing, loving and enlightening God. He wants me to be the best me I can be and He will always be there. My situations and/or circumstances don’t define me. I am just going through my storms. I have suffered and seen many horrific things in my 36 years on this Earth, but I know who I am and I claim my destiny. I am a survivor. That is what I want each of you to do. Claim your destiny. Find out who you are so that you can claim the life you want instead of living the life you are by default. So what if your car gets repossessed because you lost your job! So what if your house gets foreclosed on because you got a bad mortgage loan and you have medical expenses you can’t pay! So what?

Understand this…The God you serve is an Almighty God! He will not forsake you. The same God that got you that house, will get you another one. The same God that got you that car will get you another one. I had a friend tell me a long time ago that her husband had lost his job and they couldn’t pay their car note. They were barely able to keep food on the table and the roof over their head. She said that the Repo men came late one night to get the car. She said she opened the door and said, “Here are the keys.” She said I didn’t hide the car at my friends or family’s house. She said, “I knew I couldn’t pay the bill so, I let it go.” She said she knew her faith was strong and that God will provide. He did.

She let that car go. The car was material. How many of us are holding on to the materialistic things in our lives trying to project an image when our insides are “tore up from the floor up”?But what are you going to do? Are you going to put on a mask for the world including those that love you? Are you going to deny that you are not hurting when everything around you seems to be falling apart? Don’t you know that I care? It’s like that song “Lean on me” by Bill Withers:

Sometimes in our lives we all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there’s always tomorrow

Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on

Please swallow your pride
If I have things you need to borrow
For no one can fill those of your needs
That you don’t let show

Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on

Part of being friends is to let your friends know if you need help. If you don’t feel comfortable telling me your business, answer this are we truly friends? Maybe we’re just associates. I can’t help you if you won’t let me in. I can’t be the friend you need if you put up a wall and act like your world is perfect. Trust that by understanding and accepting yourself for who you are and what you want you become a survivor and no longer a victim.