Many people try to manage the Holy Spirit and their faith. It’s like putting the Holy Spirit in a fenced in backyard. If I do that:
- He’s controlled
- He’s predictable
- He’s manageable
Wrong. That’s not the way the Holy Spirit works. God doesn’t want to be put in a box with limits and in a controlled environment. He wants free reign!
So what limits us and why don’t we want to controlled by the Holy Spirit? Where I pastor, if I had to put a word on it: Reputation. Many people are more concerned about their reputation and what others think more than what God thinks. Here are responses I hear about the fear of being fully submitted and letting God control all our lives:
- I can’t be too radical because people will talk about me.
- What will my spouse think? What will my friends think? What will my kids think?
- If I give up control, I may have to give up things.
- I can’t have my name labeled with those unpredictable ones.
Our reputation is often put above going after more of God. Try reserving that today and see what happens. God is looking for a people that will put Him first and that will care more about Him than their own reputations.
Last thing: You can trust the Holy Spirit. He will never, never, never lead you into something bad. It will all be good! More than you can imagine! Go after more of God today. He will respond to you!
Here are the prayers for ACF Lake Travis church over the 40 day fast.
- Pray for the Word to increase its influence in all ACF communities and in the city of Austin and God to release His power on it.
As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. 2 And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. 4 We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. 5 May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. (2 Thes 3:1-5)
- Pray that we may step into our calling and destiny by God’s power
17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. (Eph 1: 17-19)
- Pray that we receive the Spirit’s power so we can experience the manifestation of God’s love
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Eph 3: 16-19)
- Pray for God’s love abound in us by God’s knowledge so that we can have more righteousness in our lives.
9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
- Pray for unity in Austin churches
5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom 15: 5-6)
- Pray to be worthy and more spiritually mature as we walk into the destiny of God
11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. 12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thess 1:11-12)
- Pray the Lord will increase our faith.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)
- Ask the Lord to bring laborers to ACF LT that will focus on building the Kingdom.
He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. (Luke 10:2)
God is still in the business of doing miracles! Here is a story Pastor Will shared this weekend:
Overcome by a seemingly permanent, debilitating injury to his vocal cords, Duane Miller was forced to give up the life he loved as a pastor and teacher. Then with breakthrough technology he was able to begin teaching Sunday School again. But each short session was followed by days of excruciating pain and recovery. That was until God miraculously healed him while teaching one Sunday morning. Listen to the dramatic audio of the miraculous Sunday morning that Duane received his healing as he spoke.
Be encouraged as you can put all your HOPE into God Almighty!
- What if I lived there; would I carry my chair to church?
- Do I take for granted living in Lake Travis? Do I take for granted my church?
- Am I encouraging my friends and neighbors to come to church with me?
- Does my heart break for the same things that break the heart of Jesus?
- Do I pray for the Gospel to be taken to all people groups?
- What am I doing to provide justice?
- How can I love like Jesus?
Your turn. Look at this picture and what questions do you need to answer?
And he said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3
I love this picture of my oldest son Teddy. Whenever I need to be reminded of the importance of having childlike faith, I go and look at this picture. Here is what I see and what I try live out with Jesus:
- I know you are going to take care of me and I trust you
- You call me Your kid
- Let’s play and have fun with wonderment and big dreams
- I’m depending on you and you’ll never let me down
- I want to spend time with you Dad
- It’s all good because you are in control
- This life is so cool with you being the focus
Freedom is found in childlike faith. For me, life became free when I found childlike faith in Jesus. Kids are free. Kids don’t stress out and worry. Kids could care less about being in control. Kids aren’t concerned about reputation and status. Kids just want to have fun in life. But somewhere in adulthood, most lose the kid in them. Life becomes too serious and often one big unmanageable stress mess. And we stop being kids.
Well, you can become free today. Jesus came and died for you to be free. And if you are a Believer, I just want to remind you of what He calls you. Remember? He calls you His kid!
If you lost the kid in you, pray for childlike faith and watch what happens!
When people ask me what ACF Lake Travis is all about, I show them this picture.
Our church is NOT:
- not a building
- not about one day a week for one hour a week
- not about 1 person or 1 personality
- not about how many are coming or not coming
- not an address
- not a location
Our church is:
- In Community
- In Relationship
- Who are the Hands and Feet of Jesus
- Hands Do and Feet Go
- Full of Childlike Faith
- Jumping into the Deep Waters
I start the year off with One Word to focus on. I picked this idea up by reading Jon Gordon. You can read about last years word and the idea here: http://christapken.com/2014/12/one-word-2015/
My One Word for 2016 is EQUIP.
This focus on equip is both upward and downward; to become more equipped and to help others become more equipped as well. But more equipped for what? Well I think I need to become better equipped and lead others to do the same in the 2 GREATS.
- The Great Commission (Matthew 29: 16-20)
- The Great Commandment (Mark 12: 29-30)
If we are going to be great at something, let’s be great at the two greats. As Stephen Covey put it, “the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” I agree. Let’s focus on the main things. And as Christians, the great news is that we don’t have to guess what the main things are; Scripture tells us.
This quote from Francis Chan is profound and cuts to my heart when he said, “Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but succeeding at the things in life that really don’t matter.” We all want our lives to matter. We all want our lives to count. We all want to leave some sort of legacy. And we can do this when our focus is on the two main things!
Thank for an amazing 2015. You blessed us in so many ways and we are grateful. As we start a new year, may You put in our hearts the 2 GREATS. Thank you for Scripture and that we don’t have to guess on what the main things are…Equip us to be great at the two greats. We seek wisdom not from men, but wisdom and revelation from You. Give us the courage to be bold and to live out the two greats daily.
In Jesus Name.