Jesus Loves to Transform


I was listening to a sports show the other day and they were interviewing a coach that was talking about how talented and strong his team was. They had been playing some weaker teams and dominating them, but at the end of his comments he mentioned something that I thought was very interesting. He said what they needed was some adversity to wake them up! He concluded that so far, the season had been too easy and he was worried they would become complacent with all of the prosperity and relaxation. He said they needed a real challenge by playing a more difficult opponent that would “push them” into playing with more passion. I thought about this and how it relates to our Christian journey. It seems when things are going good, we naturally slide into a lackadaisical attitude where we forget about being on guard and begin daydreaming about the pleasures of the flesh. Have you ever noticed that when you are going through a dark valley you are more serious about prayer and spending time with God? It is true that He wants to bless us in the good times but is also willing to pick us up after we have been run over by a truck because He loves to see us “learn” from our experiences as we go deeper in our relationship with Him. He is concerned much more about how close we are to Him in the Spirit realm than what we want in the natural realm. We just cannot seem to comprehend that our carnality is NOT our best friend neither does it have our best interest in mind. I admit it is difficult to live a disciplined life, but discipline is a pillar within the foundation and character of God. He loves it when we have exhausted our resources, our strength, our connections and how smart we think we are because that is when we fall on Him in total faith and release our deepest love.

When Lucifer became filled with the sin of pride as the beautiful, leader of the angels in heaven, God was disappointed that he rebelled and had to be cast out. I’m sure He was sad that His creation had turned corrupt however God is so AWESOME and perfect, He was still able to incorporate the idea of a negative influence. The story of Lucifer sounds like a fictitious parable but it actually happened. Satan actually has very little power because he can only do what God allows him to do. He uses cheap sales pitches to deceive the masses that do not know any better but the spiritual “reality” is that He is being used to accomplish God’s work in the earth! I am not saying the enemy does not use temptation to deceive the world but he is actually only persuading the carnal nature of man to continue in their default lifestyle of sin. “And we know that ALL things work together for the good to those who love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) This means that even when man takes the bait and falls on his face in failure that God can still use whatever pieces are left of a shattered life and use it for His glory! Amen! For example, if a person falls into a terrible drug addiction, overdoses and by a miracle escapes dying, it has been known for people like this to become a very powerful voice against drugs and can help many turn away from these destructive lifestyles. Of course we reminded of the Apostle Paul when before he became a Christian he was a fierce opponent of Christianity and actually had many innocent people killed. When he received Christ into his heart, he turned into one of the strongest representatives of God’s Kingdom and led many to salvation. When humans do not have the knowledge of divine truth, their views can be persuaded – and it is within these deceptions that mankind destroys himself and those around him. It is obvious that many are caught in the spider web of confusion not because they are “possessed” but rather are being mentally and emotionally “swayed” by the lack of holy knowledge. My question today is how can we break their trance and be used to make a difference in the destiny of people? Can our prayers of faith generate enough power to change them?

I believe that God has always desired for His people to pray even in the Old Testament. I believe God listens to prayer and that faith moves Him to do miracles. Not necessarily that prayers of faith actually change God’s mind about the way He has decided to do things but it is commonly believed that faith is “finding” the mind of God and praying according to HIS will. We do NOT believe that God just makes decisions on the fly because He has seen the paths and situation in every life from before they were born. God PLANS are connected to His omniscience which means He knows everything past and future. He knows what He wants to see happen – and how it is actually going to happen. May we agree that many times these are NOT the same? Selah. It may be true how Adam and Eve lost the closeness of their relationship with Father but where does it say that He stopped intervening in their lives? When Jesus rose from the dead He restored authority to the believers and filled them with His power and presence but He also included our free-will. Father desires that we grow strong and aggressive toward the devil, to crush his head and destroy his influence and I am sure He wants this – but the question of the hour is, do we believe we can do this and do we really want to?

Here is another example of how things do not always turn out the way our heavenly Father plans. The Lord gives the miracle of life and a special baby boy grows up as a cute, normal child and becomes a man. God watches Him throughout his life and desires to get his attention but he hangs around the wrong crowd and eventually joins a gang. God knows that one day he will be filled with rage, buy a gun, become involved with terrible crimes and eventually be killed. Now, we all know that for him to be possessed or influenced with evil was NOT God’s predestined path. The Lord did not lead this man, help him or bless him to become a gangster, but because of someone NOT intervening in prayer – plus the reality of this man’s carnal free-will, the outcome was tragic. It is true that Father allowed it and could have stopped it, but in many cases He obviously leaves much of this world’s spiritual developments to the power of intercession. If SOMEONE had taken the time to fervently pray for him instead of just confirming how bad the situation was, I believe that God would have performed miracles and divine appointments and that particular destiny would have been changed. How can I say that? Because we have learned that God reacts with our faith and the principals of His truth. Father listens to our intercessions and His power intervenes with super-natural manifestations! Was there someone in this man’s network of friends and family that could have stood in the gap for him? Was there a Christian in that network that was just so busy with their own cares that they did not pay attention to God’s calling? Maybe the Lord was trying to give someone a burden for this young man but their selfish comfort zone protected them from His still small voice. In this situation who is more guilty; the lost gangster who did not stop to listen to the voice of God or the saint that did not assume his responsibility or respond to the voice of God concerning the man? Selah.

Now brother, we all know that God has a perfect plan and that everything is progressing accordingly to His will! Well, I in no way intend to be disrespectful to God in any way or to you in your views, but there may be some problems in our theology. I believe that God is sovereign and there are “certain” things that are written in stone and nothing can stop them. However, I am not convinced that everything goes according to the desires, dreams, visions and plans of God. He KNOWS the FUTURE of everything but sometimes people make bad choices and do not follow His perfect will. I believe some things are predestined and some things are left up to our choice and only He knows why and how much! For the most part, He waits for our prayers so that He can intervene and change situations. Father is Omnipotent and Omniscient which means He is the LORD and has authority over all things. His foreknowledge of the future reveals that He is never surprised but it does not imply He is not disappointed with our decisions. Remember He grew angry at the world’s inhabitants in the days of Noah and destroyed much of His creation (and even regretted that He had made them). I am sure He was also sad at having to do that, but He knew that humanity had drifted out of control and was at the point of no return. He does not enjoy bringing judgment no more than we enjoy spanking our children but our actions always cause His reaction whether good or bad. Selah. Can we pray and increase the level of God’s presence in His churches? Yes. Can we pray for lost souls and be used in divine appointments to lead others to Christ? Yes. Can our investment of time in intercession make a difference in the lives of those in our network? Yes! Can our prayers for those for who sick and going through crisis help them experience victory? Yes! Can our prayers cause us to become filled with the nature and character of God? Yes! Do these questions stir us or convict us at all? “Father we fall before you and repent. We cry out to you and ask for your mercy. We have sinned with our selfishness and pride. We have sinned with our laziness and rebellion. We have loved our flesh so much and become numb to caring about others. Please, Oh God, melt our hardness and cause us to become tender and sensitive to you and your people. If we do not love you or others enough to pray, then how can we call ourselves a Christian? The more we seek you the more we will find you. May we not be able to sleep at night until we have made things right with you. Chastise us, awaken us, and do whatever it takes to get our attention about surrendering ALL to you. It is in your holy precious name we pray, amen.”

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