Afraid to Pray?

1 Timothy 2:8

Therefore, I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.

pray2

Why should anyone be afraid to pray? To ask the God of creation to intervene. For help in solving a problem larger than us. Or maybe a blessing on our love ones. Yet I occasionally come across people who admit they are afraid to pray. When we dig deeper, we generally find the challenge lies in several spheres.

One, which is the general challenge for many pertains to change. We are so focus on our goals and priorities that we don’t want to change what we are doing but add a blessing on top of everything we are already in pursuit. If we surrender to God, we believe there goes our dreams.

Or, we don’t because only falsely believe only weaklings pray. Us self-reliant and intelligent beings have the delusion everything is under control. We don’t need any assistance. We can handle everything ourselves.

Or, there are those who feel unworthy to pray and come to the throne room of God. Who am I to petition God? We blindly disbelieve God has no time for us or what we request is not important in the scheme of world events.

Whatever the obstacle, Paul writes to Timothy and encourages him to remind us all to pray. Why? Because prayer is the means of communicating with the living God. Unless we pray, we will never know God as He wants to be known. You cannot have a personal relationship with anyone unless there are two-way communications.

Pray allows us to see God in action. When we pray and make our requests to Him, removing any personal expectations on how and when, we witness God’s reply. Sometimes the reply comes in a word, sometimes in a thought, sometimes from others speaking to us directly or indirectly. The Bible showcases people being responding by God through a vision, dream, and yes even through a donkey.

For those who are afraid to pray, I ask “how is it working for you?” For those who have surrendered themselves to King Jesus, I likewise ask “how is it working for you?”

When one repeatedly experiences answers to prayer, one learns to pray constantly and everywhere. How one looks or sounds or trips over their words in the process, doesn’t bother them any longer. The reason? Because they know Jesus and the Holy Spirit intercedes for them. Jesus knows what being human is like. He gladly takes our requests and intervenes to the Father on our behalf. When we come to realize this, we learn not to emphasize prayer, but the power of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we long to pray and be in communion with the living God: every day and everywhere.

Fear has to do with punishment. Prayer is the loving means to a loving God who wants what is best for us. Sometimes it requires change; other times it requires sacrifice, and other times it requires self-denial. But the Christ follower says Amen for they know the process of discipleship leads to Kingdom fulfillment and real satisfaction in this life and the next.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
Great Business Emulates a Good God
Be Radical…Follow Christ!
Simply The Messenger
Unequally Married

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Copyright 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

But…God

Ephesians 2:4

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy…

If you want an encouraging Bible study some weekend, take the words “but God” and conduct a Scriptural journey through the Old and New Testament. You will recount all the difficult problems and impossible challenges others have faced with the only solution coming from God’s intervention. You will discover circumstances that would be ridiculous except for God’s hand on the matter. And you will find human platitudes renounced by God’s truth.

But God means there is a higher authority who has last say on the matter. But God gives hope when hope seems lost. But God establishes a standard higher than ours.

How often during our day we come across a challenge or difficulty which is humanly overwhelming if God wasn’t in the picture? If the solution was solely up to me, I would most often drop below the tank. But God reminds me who has last say on the matter.

But God allows us to witness HIS steadfast love and mercy in times of need and times of plenty. So, remember, no matter the challenge or problem, God has the last say. And you have a direct link with HIM. Engage HIM. You may not like HIS answer, but you will know in hindsight it was the best answer at that time and place.

What is Your View of God?

Galatians 4:8

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.

Your view of God determines the outcome of your life. Your decisions, plans, and behavior are based on your worldview which includes your opinion and belief of who God IS.

If you believe God doesn’t exist, your life will be lived with relative morals, self-centered accountability, and an uncertain future without hope.

If you believe God is a cosmic force that feeds you with energy, then you will have an impersonal relationship with an electrical-like switch that you turn on and off at your will.

If you believe God is a capitalistic entrepreneur, then you will work your hardest to transact your efforts for the greatest return.

If you believe God is a stern judge waiting for you to mess up and then punish you for your failures, you will be fearful to risk taking chances in life.

If you believe God is a deist who created the world and then left everything behind for humanity to figure it out, then you probably allow your self-reliance blind you from developing meaning relationship with others including God for you will want to do everything yourself.

If you believe God is solely into justice, then you will focus so much on right and wrong that you will miss out on peace, mercy, and grace.

If you believe God is solely about love, then you will close your eyes to the destructive behavior of others within communities in the name of love.

God reveals Himself through the pages of the Bible and creation. When you come to understand that God is Triune, Father-Son-Spirit, then you begin to see the logical carryover into all creation.

The Bible is the means to the end, not the end of itself. Therefore, use Scripture to enhance your realization of who God IS. As you read the Bible, stop and ask yourself what does this Scripture tell you about God?

And as we come to better know Him, we also come to better know ourselves. Since we are created in His image, our talents, abilities, and makeup are pattern after Him. As we discover how He exercises these qualities, we emulate Him in small physical ways.

Jesus is our role model. He is our rabbi. We are his student. Learning who God IS begins with knowing Jesus. He reveals the Father and introduces us to the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, make Jesus your aim and central core in all your relationships and plans. You will be pleasantly surprised by the outcome of your life as you make Him the central focus of your life.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Copyright 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Blessed How?

Psalm 34:8 (NIV)

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

We all have different expectations when we hear that God wants to bless us?

Some think He will put the winning Powerball lottery ticket into our pocket. Others think he will open doors for us to build the next Google or Microsoft company. Others may be more personal like having good health so we can abuse ourselves eating all the ice cream, chocolate, and candy we desire without any ramifications. Or we will find Mr. or Mrs. Right and marry with a handful of children and a home second to done.

Now God may include these physical outcomes in the process, yet there is so much more about being blessed than the fulfillment of our dreams. The 34th Psalm hits the target right in the middle. When God is the center of our lives, when we run to him with all our problems and praise, and when we come to know Him as HE IS, we will experience the life He promises to humanity throughout Scripture.

Our challenge is focusing on the spiritual outcome rather than the physical means.

For many of us growing up in commercialism USA, we have the tenancy to associate blessings with physical or social outcomes. We want to be happy and believe certain “things” will make us happy. And we associate certain “things” with happiness. We have difficulty understanding this with-God life.

For when one begins to know God and experiences His life within you, you quickly realize that everything you ever wanted is already included with Him. He is the Source of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, and self-control. His presence alone generates all the positive feelings mankind seeks through physical means.

Security, self-actualization, acceptance, and all the other physiological functions are found in Him.

That is why saints of old have constantly repeated that HE is all they need.

The blessing is having a personal relationship with the living God and allowing Him to share His life with you as you share your life with Him. Through this relationship, you will experience a blessed life simply because He is a generous, outgoing Being who naturally loves and gives and shares His best for you. And yes, He tempers His generosity with the purpose of raising His children with godly character.

So, if you want to experience the blessed life, don’t focus on your dreams. Instead pursue God and let Him live His life in you.   

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Desire God

Psalm 42:1

As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. 

How strong is your desire for God? Is it the strongest desire of everything you want?

When temptation comes, do you immediately lean on God or is it the second or third tactical move on your list of priority?

Is God our weekly desire or our minutely thirst?

Intellectually we all know that prayer is our immediate contact with the Almighty. But how often do we pray?

Or have you lived such a comfortable life as a Believer you now take God for granted?

You state you love God, but yet you continually do ungodly acts of spiritual terrorism.

Mentally you know God is your life source, full of grace and unconditional love, but you selfishly take advantage of His compassion.

You deliberately make unwise decisions to please your fleshly desires rather than deny yourself for God’s glory. You spiritually rape your sister or brother in the Lord to please your insecurities.

Instead of battling temptation with spiritual weapons, you deliberately succumb to your Biblical ignorance knowing God has already forgiven you.

Your passion for capitalistic rewards, the American dream, and personal fanfare is more important than maintaining an honest and open conversation with the living God. We quickly turn our head away from God because we want to please our eyes. Like a child stealing a cookie from the cupboard before dinner, we behave in the same fashion with God.

Yet our Triune God knows our weaknesses. He pours his grace upon us knowing we will eventually come to a place in life where our eyes are open, and we realize our attitude or behavior until then doesn’t successfully work, and therefore we need to change.

Repentance is changing our thinking and mental habits as we refocus our relationship with God. The decision to earnestly make God the center of our life – whether in the sinful pit of repeating temptation failures or recurring successes of victory – is the motivation to seek God. To love him more and more which means we come to know more about him today than yesterday.

Like a deer seeks to quench her thirst from a running stream of water, our soul needs to learn to thirst for God every day, every hour, every minute. Our heart needs to lay on the bosom of God as we come to know him in every detail of life.

So, the next time you seek to satisfy your inner desires with physical comfort, cry out to God and ask Him to intervene so He becomes your #1 satisfaction for living life.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Lonely Hearts

Exodus 20:3

“You shall have no other gods before Me.

Ever sat in a room with hundreds of people and felt alone? Ever spent an evening with a person who you enjoyed being with yet still felt disconnected? Ever wonder how come the person you’ve been married too for over ten years doesn’t quite fill the empty hole which still remains in your heart?

What’s missing?

Most of us look for love and fulfillment on a vertical sphere. If not satisfied, we change partners, careers, locations, and even cloths, thinking a change will fill up our inner cup.

Yet each may satisfy for the short term, eventually the feeling disappears and we look for something else to change. These typically are the “gods” in our life. They are generally good things, but by themselves they are incomplete.

So if this is you, maybe it is time to change one’s perspective. Instead of chasing vertical relationships and material consumption, how about refocusing and adding horizontal connections into your life.

In hindsight, with our married life and with many of my associates, when one made the Triune God the center of their domain, reaching upward before stretching vertically, the satisfaction, meaning, and fulfillment we failed to find from other people and things, found their home through Christ Jesus.

Today, He via the Holy Spirit fills our inner longings without us even realizing or many times not even asking. God knows what we need and what tickles our fancy and fills our joy with cups overflowing; for us to enjoy and to share with others. He creates in us everything we lack. He lives in community with himself and enjoys sharing His experiences with us all. When he is the center of everything, everything becomes more satisfying and fulfilling.

He created everything for our long-term enjoyment. Yet without him, the same people, things, and events are empty. With Him, life adds more color, deeper meaning, and emotional connection with all people. Until you experience life with God, you never know what you are truly missing. You are never lonely again, for He lives in you and will be with you, your entire life. 

With Him, you may find yourself alone, but you are never lonely. He is always with you; and you know that you know which allows you to live out what you know. You know what I mean? Probably not, unless you know.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

God Is Working Everything for Your Good

Romans 8:28 

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

god work

How do you define good? When do you determine something is either good or bad?

If life throws a curve ball at you when you were expecting a fast ball, was that a good pitch or not? Don’t our shortsighted expectations sometimes blind us to reality?

Generally, we believe something is good almost immediately after its impact. For example, when we slam on our brakes at the last second to avoid a serious head-on-accident by inches. Or when we been looking for a job and an offer comes our way with a higher salary and responsibilities than you ever imagined. Or when you feel a lump on your breast and receive that phone call from your doctor acknowledging it is benign.

All these events end with immediate good news.

Yes, the news is good. And for the minute we celebrate. Yet what about those times when the events stink.

When your fiancée breaks up with you one week before the wedding.

When your tire goes flat ten minutes away from an important interview for the job of your dreams.

When the candidate you lobbied for and voted for fails to win the election.

At times like this you feel your world has come to an end. You are disappointed and maybe even angry at God for not protecting you from such “harm.” But are these events necessary “bad.” Or are they temporary, eye-opening moments to refocus our attention on the God of the universe who is constantly working for every person’s best; even when they don’t want it.

Your trust in God will be constantly challenged by the unpleasant events in your life. You will come to know him more intimately and personally as you place your undivided trust in Him. Whether you are thrown into a fiery pit, stand before a large army attacking your front while a large lake blocks your retreat in the rear, or your nine-foot goliath stands in front of you with heavy military armor and you only have a sling shot. Your immediate response may be “this isn’t good,” Yet, you will recall all the times your God intervene and the outcome was better than you could ever expect. Or the times you may have suffered for years. But in hindsight you realize those were the best years of spiritual growth and interpersonal relationship time with our Heavenly Father.

When you come to realize that no matter what happens in this journey through life on planet earth, God is constantly at work for your good and mine. Sometimes we have to wait longer than desired, but other times He delivers before we even know what happened.

God is good. All the time. Just sometimes it takes time to realize the goodness of the situation.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
Great Business Emulates a Good God
Be Radical…Follow Christ!
Simply The Messenger
Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved