The Refiner’s Fire & Reforming Hammer

Is your surrendered-to-God life being heated almost to the melting point, and then being beaten upon seemingly without mercy?

Stay on the anvil of God. Your outcome will be beautiful, powerful, and glorifying to Him! He isn’t punishing you, He is forming you into the greatest person that you can be.

He didn’t say that you would love the sculpting process, but you WILL love the final RESULT of His sculpting process!

#PastorsTip

 

Wilderness

A Daily Thought Provoker Quote
from Heart & Path Journal at HeartPathJournal.net
Online Publications of David J. Hall

“In your walk with Christ, do you feel like your soul is dry and thirsty? Are you wandering in a wilderness with no clear sense of direction or progress

Christ has not forgotten you.

The dry season is His graciously motivating invitation for you to draw near to Him again, to get close enough to hear His heartbeat, to feel His breath, to drink of His living water, and to receive a fresh outpouring of His holy fire upon your heart’s altar.”

“Come near to God and He will come near to you.” ( James‬ ‭4:8‬a )

( David J. Hall )

image-5

#PastorsTip #DTP

The Priceless Hunger

“Appetite is an incentive to work;
hunger makes you work all the harder.”

Proverbs 16:26 (The Message)

I noticed a small, non-profit ad the other day for a food bank, it simply stated: “When you are hungry, nothing else really matters.”

That phrase rushed into my heart and soul like a river of refreshing water.  From there the gentleness of the Holy Spirit began to minister to me in ways that were then beyond the realm of words and sentences.  There was a deep, resounding earthquake within my heart that was like a love song that beckoned me to draw near to Him.

I soon noticed that my hunger for God’s Presence had suffered in recent months.  No, I had not walked away, per se, nor had I become lost.  I was still joyful, still filled with the Peace that Jesus Christ offers His friends, and very much devoted to Him.  But, I had allowed my hunger for Him to go unfed, and hunger unfed for long enough can dull the drive of the hunger pains.

As the above passage from Proverbs intimates, our hunger is a priceless gift that fuels our drive to fulfill our hunger.  The right hunger is a good thing!  Hunger for God is Priceless!

If your hunger for God has lost its drive in your soul, all is not lost.  Hunger can be restored, and the best way to re-ignite our hunger is to eat an appetizer.  Great chefs prepare multi-course meals with a very special first plate.  An appetizer!  It is not designed to satisfy hunger, it is designed to trigger it.  It is designed to ignite all of the physical and chemical processes within the body that prepare it not only for the consumption of food, but to enjoy and relish the experience of consuming it.

The Word of God, the Scriptures, the Bread of life, the reading and consuming of His Word while within His Presence, this is our appetizer!  And, just as every great meal experience is enhanced triple-fold by the company and the conversation that surrounds the meal, so also is the consuming of God’s Word multiplied in its richness as we converse with Him.

We have the potential to hunger for many things, but there is only one kind of hunger that leads to a priceless finale.  Nurture the hunger for God, and starve out the hunger for the things of this world.

Man, I’m hungry.  Want to go catch a bite to eat?  See you at the altar, with His Word in hand, and fully engulfed in His Presence.

 

A Loving Desperation for God

When is the right time to become desperate for more–for all–of God?  While it certainly is the right time to seek Him with absolute diligence when we face a trial of enormous potential consequence (cancer, divorce, bankruptcy, etc.), the most critical time for becoming desperate for God–for all of God–is when we do not feel like it.

When we have become numb to the things of His Spirit and His Word, this is the most critical moment that requires a self-awakening and a self-discipline to stir up the fire within us before it goes out completely under the burdens of life.

The Psalmist describes for us a beautiful picture of being desperate for God:

“As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?”

( Psalm 42:1b-2 )

Picture with the Psalmist a deer that has spent its day in the heat and maybe even has run from a predator at one point, and nearing the end of the day it is more than ready for a deep drink of refreshing, cool, life-sustaining and life-restoring water from any of the number of brooks or streams available in its territory.  Imagine the joy and the refreshment that the deer enjoys even as it approaches a water source, smelling the aroma of the fresh water even while still a mile away.  Its anticipation begins to refresh it even before the first drink is taken in.

Our lives have their own challenges and predators.  Sometimes we become so engaged in the battles of life that we forget to drink and hydrate our lives frequently throughout the day with the living streams of God.  Without a steady inflow of the waters of His life our lives become parched, thirsty, and eventually even numb to the thirst that our souls so desperately need to have quenched.

In the second verse the Psalmist asks himself when will he “appear before God.”  This reference includes the idea of appearing before God’s Face, a face-to-face meeting which brings to mind the kind of relationship that Moses had with God.  Moses would meet with God face-to-face (so to speak) as a friend meets with a friend.  Their relationship was very special.  This is the kind of relational encounter the Psalmist is asking himself about, when will he drink deep of the waters of God and present himself before God with a loving desperation to know Him more, and for God to know him more in a relational way?

The bottom line is this: out of our love for God, let us all cultivate a loving desperation for God, not only a desperation to know about Him, but to know Him personally.  Through the Cross of Christ we may approach our Heavenly Father with utmost confidence (Hebrews 4:15-16).  As you anticipate approaching Him in the minutes or hours to come, can’t you already smell the aroma of the fresh streams of God’s living water that flows from His Presence?  Like the deer anticipating its water, let us anticipate our time of face-to-face with God.

See you at the altar, my friends.

#PastorsTip