IRS Kerfuffles and the Leading of the Holy Spirit

irs

I’m in the process of trying to close escrow on a house. But it has not been easy.

While getting our loan, we found out So Cal Edison had mistakenly opened a claim against us for a bill we had actually paid. This happened almost a year ago, but we didn’t find out until this last month. I called So Cal Edison and they agreed that a mistake had been made, but that there was nothing they could do. They advised I call the collection agency to clear it up. I called the collection agency, and they informed me that, unfortunately, there was nothing they could do, and advised I call So Cal Edison to clear it up.

It took a week of kind, harsh, understanding, and irate calls and hours on hold to finally resolve the situation.

Then things progressed. Until…

Our lender called me to say they had not received 2017 transcripts from the IRS. They told me to call the IRS and have them fax the transcripts over. I called, and after several calls were dropped, I finally made it to an agent appropriately named “Mr. Smith.”

After several hours on hold, Mr. Smith finally informed me that, while the IRS had received, processed, and cashed the check we sent, they had accidentally misplaced our tax return. On behalf of the IRS, Mr. Smith was very sorry, but informed me there was nothing he could do to correct this mistake, as there was no protocol to handle these sorts of situations (which happen more often than you’d think, he told me). My best bet was to send them everything again (sans the check), and wait (and hope) for the trusted IRS to process everything correctly this time.

Through this (and many other unforeseen issues), it became apparent: the devil was trying to prevent us from closing escrow. God must really want us to buy this house.

But what if, instead…

* * *

I’m in the process of trying to close escrow on a house. But it has not been easy.

While getting our loan, we found out So Cal Edison had mistakenly opened a claim…

… My best bet was to send them everything again (sans the check), and wait (and hope) for the trusted IRS to process everything correctly this time.

Through this (and many other unforeseen issues), it became apparent: God was trying to prevent us from closing escrow. God must really want us to NOT buy this house.

* * *

In the bible, Gideon wasn’t sure if God would save Israel. So he decided to look for a sign: he would leave a cloth out on the ground, and if the cloth was wet in the morning, Gideon would know that God would save them.

Morning came, and the cloth was wet. But then Gideon realized, “This could just be a coincidence.” So he decided: he would leave a cloth out on the ground, and if the cloth was dry in the morning, Gideon would know that God would save them.

Morning came, and the cloth was dry. At this point, Gideon stopped asking for signs, and believed what God had actually said a few verses earlier: “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you? Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man” (Judges 6:14, 16).

* * *

It’s easy to look for signs… until you realize that signs aren’t usually very clear. The IRS lost my tax return. That could mean God doesn’t want me to buy this house… or it could mean that God does want me to buy this house… or it could mean that government agencies are not very efficient. Who knows? (Probably the third one.)

My point is this: God doesn’t lead through circumstance. If He doesn’t want you to do something, He’s not going to send the IRS after you; He’ll just say, “Hey, don’t do that” (Acts 13:2). Better yet, chances are He has already told you what you should and shouldn’t do in scripture.

So rather than make your decisions based on esoteric signs and circumstances that could be interpreted in any number of ways, make your decisions the way God intended: based on the revealed Word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Anything else is just chance.

50 practical things Jesus did with His disciples

disciple

  1. He taught them (Matthew 4:23)
  2. He ate with them (Matthew 26:26)
  3. He traveled with them (Mark 6:1)
  4. He went camping with them (Matthew 8:20)
  5. He went to church with them (Mark 1:21)
  6. He worshipped with them (Matthew 26:30)
  7. He prayed with them (Matthew 26:36)
  8. He prayed for them (John 17:9)
  9. He spent time with them doing regular things (see below)
  10. He fished with them (Luke 5:4)
  11. He hiked with them (Mark 3:13)
  12. He barbequed with them (John 21:9)
  13. He hung out at their place (Mark 1:29, Matthew 9:10)
  14. He invited them over to His place (Mark 2:1, Mark 3:20)
  15. He stayed up late to help them (Mark 1:32)
  16. He met their families (Mark 1:30)
  17. He gave them nicknames (Mark 3:17 & Luke 9:54, Matthew 16:18)
  18. He allowed them to be them (as evidenced by Peter’s entire existence)
  19. He called them out when they were sucking (Luke 9:55)
  20. He encouraged them when they were on track (John 1:47, Matthew 16:17)
  21. He joked around with them (Luke 24:13-36; great 15-minute sermon about it here)
  22. He cared deeply about them (John 17:12)
  23. He talked theology with them (Matthew 13:24)
  24. He talked politics with them (Matthew 22:21, ; Matthew 20:25)
  25. He talked business with them (Matthew 20:15)
  26. He made them uncomfortable (John 6:60-61)
  27. He explained things to them (Matthew 13:11)
  28. He used words they could understand (Matthew 13:47, Matthew 4:19)
  29. And when they still didn’t understand, He slowed down (Matthew 15:16)
  30. He gave them advice (Luke 10:25-37)
  31. He helped their businesses (Luke 5:6-7)
  32. He defended them (Mark 9:18-19)
  33. He fought for them (Mark 2:25-7, Luke 22:31-32, 1 John 3:8)
  34. He served them (John 13:5)
  35. He served with them (Matthew 14:19)
  36. He sacrificed for them (Matthew 17:12)
  37. He corrected them (Luke 9:50)
  38. He challenged them (Luke 10:8-9)
  39. He expected more from them than they expected from themselves (Luke 9:13)
  40. He trusted them (Matthew 21:1-3, John 19:26-27)
  41. He gently rebuked them when necessary (Mark 10:38)
  42. He harshly rebuked them when necessary (Matthew 16:23)
  43. He forgave them and gave them second and third and twentieth chances (John 21:15-17)
  44. He was patient with them (Luke 9:46-48)
  45. He never left them, but He allowed them to leave Him (John 6:66)
  46. He invested in them, even when there seemed to be little to no results (Luke 9:43-56)
  47. He was human with them (John 11:35)
  48. He lived with them (John 1:14)
  49. He showed them how to live (John 10:10)
  50. Essentially, He did life with them. Every. Single. Day.

Don’t Go, and Make Disciples

go

We all know the great commission: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations…” (Matthew 28:19)

Now here’s my question: What is the first thing Jesus commanded in this verse?

You probably said “go,” right? And… you’d be wrong.

You see, the word “go” in this verse (the Greek πορεύω) is in the passive tense, meaning He’s not actually commanding us to go. A more accurate translation would be, “As you go, make disciples of all the nations.” [1]

Most of us think our commission is to go somewhere (preferably some country far, far away) and get people saved. But that’s not what Jesus is saying. He isn’t telling us to go somewhere; He’s simply acknowledging that we all will inevitably go somewhere. And whenever we go somewhere, what are we supposed to do? Make disciples.

When you go to school, make disciples.

When you go to work, make disciples.

When you go to the grocery store, or soccer practice, or the neighborhood barbeque, make disciples.

No matter where you go, your commission is to make disciples.

So what are you waiting for? People are waiting. Get going!


 

[1] A few versions translate this passage accordingly:

  • Having gone, then, disciple all the nations (Young’s Literal Translation)
  • Therefore having gone, disciple all the nations (Berean Literal Bible)
  • Therefore, as you go, disciple people of all nations (International Standard Version)
  • So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations (God’s Word Translation)

Is It Wrong to Help People in Order to Spread the Gospel?

use meI’ve heard non-Christians levy this accusation at helpful believers several times:

You’re only helping that person so you can tell them about Jesus!”

Is this a genuine concern? If even part of our motivation in serving others is to preach the gospel, does that make it wrong?

As always, let’s look at the scriptures:

But when Jesus saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36)

In this passage, Jesus is moved with compassion for two reasons. First, He noticed their physical condition. They were weary and scattered. The NLT uses the words “confused and helpless” to describe their condition. Jesus certainly was aware of their problems, and wanted to free them of their distress.

Secondly, Jesus was concerned because of their spiritual condition. They were like sheep having no shepherd. They weren’t a part of God’s flock (John 10). They were separated from God (Eph. 2). And not only that, but Jesus identified that the reason they were weary and scattered was because of their spiritual condition. In other words, their utter separation from God resulted in their physical plight.

In Genesis 3, after Adam and Eve sinned against God, they died spiritually, which led to death in every area of life. Separation from God resulted in all sorts of bad stuff, including sin, sickness, poverty, and strife. And we can work hard to battle sin, sickness, and poverty, but at the end of the day, all that is doing is attacking the symptoms rather than the source. Spiritual death is the problem; everything else is just a side effect.

That’s why Jesus said to John’s disciples,

The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” (Matthew 11:5)

Jesus offers help to people in need, but ultimately, He offers the gospel to them, because the gospel is what will actually fix their problems.

Is it wrong to help people in order to spread the gospel? Certainly not! If you’re not preaching the gospel, you’re not really helping. You’re just covering up a wound that’ll get worse and worse.

* * * * *

I wrote a book. It’ll change your life. Buy it here. Enjoy.

Teaching My Son the Definition of Bravery

Inigo MontoyaAs some of you know, I have a six month old son. His name is Jack. And he’s awesome.

He’s just on the verge of talking. In fact, his mother is convinced he’s started saying “mama,” but since there’s no video confirmation, his first words are still up for grabs.

But soon he’ll be talking and learning new words.

That’s where you come in. There are several words you’ve been using incorrectly this week, and it’s going to confuse my son. So my request is that, regardless of your political or religious affiliations, that you would make an attempt to use these words the way the dictionary says they should be used.

The words in question are “brave” and “dignity.”

This week, a woman committed suicide. Many people are calling it a “brave” and “dignified” way to die. Now I’m not looking to discuss whether doctor-assisted suicide is a good or bad thing. I’m mainly concerned with the language we’re using to describe it.

“Bravery,” as I understand it, is putting yourself in danger or harm for the sake of others. Most dictionaries agree, saying that it is the ability to face danger, fear, and pain.

The soldiers defending our country are brave. They put themselves in harm’s way every single day to assure that you and I are safe. Many of them will die protecting us. They face danger, fear, and pain so you don’t have to. They are brave.

Christians who are being beheaded as we speak are brave. Terrorists are threatening to murder them in grisly ways unless they renounce their faith and embrace Allah. They have held to their convictions, and have been slaughtered as a result. They are brave.

Brittany Maynard didn’t want to fight. She didn’t face pain. She chose to bow out early, to die of a drug overdose in her bed rather than survive as long as possible for the sake of her husband, mother, and friends. That is not brave.

In any other context, we would call that cowardice. But at any rate, no one in their right mind would call that bravery.

But we didn’t stop there. Not only are we trying to confuse my son with nonsensical definitions of “bravery,” but we are also calling the way she died a “death with dignity.”

The implication is that those who have chosen to fight their illness rather than give up early have not died with dignity.

My grandmother died seventeen years ago fighting cancer. She lost all her hair, lost significant amounts of weight, and was bedridden in her last days, before dying a few days after Christmas. To say Brittany Maynard died with dignity is to say my grandmother died in an undignified fashion.

One was a fighter. The other was too afraid to fight.

One thought of her family. The other thought of herself.

One ended up losing the battle. The other gave up with a bottle of pills in her hand.

My purpose is not to criticize Brittany Maynard. Really, I just want my children to know what words actually mean.

We don’t need to call Brittany Maynard’s actions cowardly. That’s unnecessary, and will just make people mad. But please, for the sake of my son and his developing mind, let’s give up this ruse of calling her actions “brave” and “dignified.” Because her death was neither brave nor dignified.

How to Pray for Missionaries

???????????????????????????????It’s important to pray for those in ministry. Paul commanded the church to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17); Jesus asked His closest friends to pray with Him on the eve of His death (Matthew 26:36); and we are told to pray, intercede, and give thanks for all men, especially those in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-4).

But we often don’t know exactly what we are supposed to pray. After all, most missionaries live thousands of miles away, don’t have regular access to Facebook, and may even speak entirely different languages.

But our prayers are required nonetheless. The Apostle Paul even went so far as to say that there were things he could not have accomplished had the church not been praying.

So here are FOUR THINGS you can pray for missionaries, both local and around the world.

  1. Colossians 4:3-4: “And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.”
  1. Ephesians 6:19-20: “Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”
  1. 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2: “Pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith.”
  1. Colossians 1:9: “We continually ask God to fill you with knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives.”

To summarize, here are the bullet points you can (and should) pray for missionaries on a daily basis:

  1. That God would open a door for their message
  2. That words would be given so that they would make known the gospel
  3. That they would declare the gospel fearlessly
  4. That they would declare the gospel the way it should be preached
  5. That the message of the Lord would spread rapidly
  6. That people would honor and receive the message
  7. That missionaries would be protected from evil men
  8. That God would fill them with the knowledge of His will

Pray these things daily for a dozen missionaries around the globe. And watch the world change.

(Related Post: “Two Ways to Evangelize the World“)

MYTHBUSTERS #1: I can’t stop sinning

mythbusters sinningThe Claim: Christians are sinners, and will never be able to overcome their sinful nature. Every one of us sins hundreds of times a day, and there is absolutely no way to stop.

What the bible says:

Stand in awe, and sin not. (Psalm 4:4)

“Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity.” (Daniel 4:27)

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! (Romans 6:1-2)

We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. (Romans 6:6, NLT)

The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Christ Jesus. (1 Corinthians 15:57)

Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12)

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called. (Ephesians 4:1)

“If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)

Abstain from every form of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:22)

Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. (1 Corinthians 15:34)

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)

“Therefore, if the son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36)

The Verdict: BUSTED!

The born again believer has been given all authority over the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19), and has been made free from not only the consequences of sin, but the power of sin itself (1 Corinthians 15:55).

Now this doesn’t mean that if you sin, you are going straight to hell. John tells us we don’t have to sin, but if* we do there is forgiveness:

My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may sin not. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. (1 John 2:1)

People tend to make mistakes. Proverbs doesn’t say “a righteous man never falls”; it says “a righteous man may* fall seven times, but rises again” (Proverbs 24:16). If you slip up, just confess your sin as John instructed and start living right (1 John 1:9).

But the fact remains: sin has no power over you. So, just as Jesus told the adulterous woman, “GO AND SIN NO MORE.”


Note: Notice how the bible uses phrases like “may sin” and “if you sin” as opposed to “will sin” and “when you sin.” According to God, sin is a choice, not a destiny.


My new book UNFAIR ADVANTAGE talks about overcoming sin and living life worthy of God’s calling. Check it out on Amazon.

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What’s Under Your Cushion? (or, White-Washed Couches)

under your cushionSeven months ago, I was up in Big Bear for our youth group’s annual Winter Camp. I woke up at around six and headed down to the main lodge, hoping to curl up on the couch with a bowl of cereal and warm up next to the fireplace. With a bowl of Cap’n Crunch in one hand and a book of matches in the other, I headed over to the fireplace… and was greeted with a cushionless couch.

Apparently, some of the boys had taken them in the night to build forts, shields, and a giant “mega-bed.” They also spent at least an hour playing the “lava” game. Epic, I know, but not what I was hoping to find at 6:12 am. You see, for those of you who own couches (most of my post-college audience, I assume), you know that I didn’t find just a cushionless couch. Concealed for what must’ve been decades beneath those tacky plaid cushions was a hodgepodge of delightful treats.

Where should I start? There was the candy: three and a half gummy worms, about two dozen nerds which had probably started off orange but had since faded to an unappetizingly chalky white, about three-eighths of a jawbreaker, and what I sure hope was the remnants of a Milky Way bar.

There was also what I assume started off as a single Oreo, a six-sided die, a monopoly house, an almost-empty travel-sized tube of toothpaste and some used dental floss, a “MASH” scorecard (spoiler alert: they all died alone), a used iTunes gift card, and a mysterious sticky substance that was purple in color and salty in taste.

It wasn’t all bad, though. I did manage to find one dime, three nickels, six pennies, and an unidentified silver coin bearing the image of an elderly woman among the other remains.

Jesus once compared the Pharisees and Sadducees to “white-washed sepulchers” (Matthew 23:27). They worked hard to look good on the outside, while on the inside they were dead. They were lost, confused, and filled with sin.

If that exchange took place today, I think He may have called them sofa couches. “You look all clean and vacuumed on the outside, but just look beneath the cushions,” He might’ve said. “For underneath your well-swept cushions are moldy old sandwiches, sticky M&Ms, and the remains of various beverages you have spilt over the years.”

Christians love, love, love to put on a show. We love to look like we have it all together. But ask yourself today, what’s under your cushion? Is everything on the inside nice and clean, presentable for the King of kings? Or do you have a mess on your hands? There’s nothing wrong with getting a little gunk stuck in there every now and then. Just don’t try to hide it. Jesus can’t clean up your couch if you won’t let Him see what’s under the cushions. Deal with it now. Let God clean up the mess so you can walk perfectly before Him today.

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7)


CHALLENGE: And hey, just for fun, email me pictures of your filthy couches. I need the encouragement to know I’m not the only one!


 

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My newest book, UNFAIR ADVANTAGE, is available on Amazon. Best book you’ll read this summer. It’ll change your life.

An Open Letter to My Son On My First Father’s Day

Jack,father and son

This Sunday is Father’s Day. You’ve probably never heard of Father’s Day before, but it is a day to celebrate and honor dads. On the surface, that sounds pretty good for me. Your mom will no doubt buy me something awesome and then sign your name to it; a bunch of people at church will shake my hand, pat me on the back, and give me candy cigars; and we’ll eat lunch at a restaurant where salad isn’t considered a part of the meal. It’ll be pretty good to be me.

But really, I don’t feel all that deserving of celebration quite yet. I’ve only been your dad for 55 days. Maybe in five or ten years I’ll feel a bit more worthy, but so far, I haven’t done all that much. Being a father is one of the most important jobs a person can have, and I plan to take it very seriously.

But as you’ll someday learn, we live in a screwed up world, son. And I know there are many valiant fathers out there, but on a day meant to celebrate fatherhood, I can’t help but think of all the things we fathers have been getting wrong.

Right now, 43% of American children live without their fathers. That means there are over 15 million children growing up without dads, most of whom are living below the poverty line. Kids growing up without fathers are five times more likely to commit suicide, nine times more likely to drop out of high school, 14 times more likely to abuse women, and 32 times more likely to be runaways or homeless.

Related to the absence of fathers is the dismal state of marriage in our country. They say fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. Now I know this number isn’t accurate, but the fact that so many people believe it demonstrates the reality of this epidemic. So many fathers are unwilling to remain committed to their children’s mothers. I grew up with married parents (your grandma and grandpa), and I married a girl with married parents (pop-pop and gangy), so I didn’t realize how widespread divorce was until I started working in youth ministry, where hundreds of our students were growing up in broken homes, and many had never even met their dad.

Of the children fortunate enough to grow up with their fathers around, I know that many dads are disconnected and withdrawn from their kids. Many hide in their work, hide in their hobbies, hide in the garage, or hide with their friends. We laugh at the way fathers are presented on television, but those fictional dads bear some semblance to the reality of fatherhood in our country.

The importance of a father in the life of his son is paramount, and so rather than bask in my own unearned glory this Father’s Day, I’d like to make a commitment to you, Jack.

  1. I promise to love your mother each and every day for the rest of my life, even if I don’t always feel like it.
  2. I promise to eat dinner with you at our dinner table on week nights, rather than be working late at the office.
  3. I promise to teach you to throw a baseball and climb a tree and ride a bike, to tithe and pay bills and use your money wisely, to build a fire and set up a tent and survive in the wild.
  4. I promise to take you to church on Sundays instead of soccer games.
  5. I promise to make decisions you won’t like because they are for your good.
  6. I promise to teach you to drive a stick shift.
  7. I promise to teach you math and science and spelling and history.
  8. I promise to teach you the fear of the Lord.
  9. I promise to be your father more than your friend.
  10. I promise to go to your basketball games and school plays.
  11. I promise there will always be a roof over your head, clothes on your back, and three meals on your plate.
  12. I promise to spank all the foolishness and rebellion out of you that I can.
  13. I promise to pray with you daily, not just pray for you.
  14. I promise to read to you.
  15. I promise to play with you.
  16. I promise to travel with you.
  17. I promise to talk to you.
  18. I promise to listen to you.
  19. I promise to have fun with you.
  20. I promise to dream with you.
  21. I promise to punish you (if you deserve it).
  22. I promise to worship with you.
  23. I promise to show you how to treat a woman by treating your mother like the queen she is.
  24. I promise to raise you the way God said to do it, not the way the television or government or Oprah tells me to.
  25. I promise to protect you and provide for you.
  26. I promise to always be there for you.
  27. I promise to teach you to fight lions and bears and giants.
  28. I promise to teach you where you came from.
  29. I promise to teach you where you are going.
  30. I promise to teach you who you are in Christ.
  31. I promise to teach you to be a husband.
  32. I promise to teach you to be a father.
  33. I promise to teach you to be a man.
  34. I promise to teach you to trust and follow God.
  35. I promise to be better every day.

I love you, son, and even as the world falls apart, I promise I’m not going anywhere.

Love,

Da Da (aka, the hairy guy who is really excited to change your diaper when he gets home)

“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6.4)

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Important Lessons My Son Has Taught Me about God

jack13:16 am. The family is finally asleep. But of course, that’s not gonna last long.

3:19 am. Jack’s cries fill our bedroom.

Maybe he’s hungry. We try feeding, but he doesn’t bite. Jack continues to cry.

Maybe he’s in dire need of a diaper change. We check, but the diaper is clean. Jack continues to cry.

Maybe he’s cold. We give him a blanket. Jack continues to cry.

Maybe he’s warm. We strip off the onesie. Jack continues to cry.

I know. He just needs some bro time. I take him downstairs, and walk through our darkened kitchen with him gently cradled in my arms.

Jack calms down.

For about seventeen seconds.

Then he continues to cry.

And as I continue to pace back and forth with our crying infant in my arms, I think to myself, “If only he knew how to articulate what he needed, then I could give it to him.”

And right as that thought came to mind, God said to me, “That’s why most prayers don’t get answered.”

Christians are really good at crying. Experts, in fact. “Why does this always happen to me?” “Why do things never work out in my life?” “Why doesn’t God answer my prayers?”

We are very good at vocalizing how terrible things are. We are also fairly decent at (erroneously) attributing all of our woes and troubles to God. But I’d venture to guess that 9 times out of 10, we never actually ask for a solution. We just whine about whatever is going on, then blame God when things don’t get better.

For example, if you feel a fever coming on, complaining about how you always get sick isn’t praying. Accepting the sickness because “God works in mysterious ways” also isn’t praying. Even silently hoping that you miraculously get better isn’t praying. To make it a prayer, you need to verbally ask God to heal you. Confessing a scripture or two that promises to give you what you need is an absolute plus (in the case of sickness, Isaiah 53:5, Exodus 15:26, Luke 9:11, 1 Peter 2:24, and James 5:15 are just a few). Then you need to sincerely believe that God will deliver. And to finish it off, promptly praise God for His goodness and mercy and love.

That’s the prayer of faith.

My son Jack couldn’t tell me what was wrong because he doesn’t speak the English language. He’s just a baby. And most Christians are unsuccessful in prayer because they don’t speak the language of faith. They are spiritual babies. Now Jack will naturally grow up as time progresses. But Christian growth isn’t automatic. It takes deliberate and intentional action. And unfortunately, most people are unwilling to put in the time.

The language of faith is simple:

  1. Ask God for what you need (Matthew 7:7, Romans 10:9)
  2. Continually confess a scripture that promises you what you need (Joshua 1:8)
  3. Believe that you receive (Mark 11:23, Romans 10:9)
  4. Thank God for always meeting your needs (Philippians 4:6, Acts 16:25)

So stop complaining, stand on the Word, and have faith in God.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)

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