Why Standing Stones?

Why Standing Stones?

In ancient Israel, people stood stones on their end to commemorate a powerful move of God in their lives. It was a memorial to something God spoke or revealed or did. Often these standing stones became reference points in their lives. Today, we can find reference points in the written Word of God. Any scripture or sermon can speak something powerful into our lives, or reveal something of the nature of God. In this blog I offer, what can become a reference point for Christians, taken from God's ancient word and applied to today's world.

Monday, February 17, 2014


On November 29, 1981, the St. Patrick, a one fifty-eight foot fishing vessel and its crew of twelve pulled out of its slip in Kodiak, Alaska, in search of King Crab in the Bering Straight.  On the first night of their journey a storm began building.  Winds were whipped up to one hundred miles per hour, waves began crashing over the handrail and smashing onto the deck:  The sailors began to put on their Arctic survival suits. 

The temperature of the water in the Bering Straight is about thirty-nine degrees Fahrenheit.  A Human body thrown into water of that temperature will become hypothermic and die in about 20 minutes. 

The storm continued to build, waves were rising up to twenty-five feet above the deck, and slamming into the bulkheads of the ship.  The galley was destroyed. Men were thrown completely out of their bunks where they had huddled to ride out the storm by the force of the storm.

The captain turned the bow of the ship into the wind, so that the waves would strike the ship’s bow first, to keep the ship from capsizing.  That’s when all hell broke loose.

A rogue wave is usually a wave traveling across the pattern of the waves; this wave is not caused by the storm.  Because the ship was turned into the storm the storm proof glass of the wheelhouse was unable to protect the wheelhouse from this wave.  The wave crashed into the wheelhouse and destroyed the navigation equipment.  The water then rushed down a gangway though an open hatch and poured into the engine room.  The ship lost all power, was not able to move forward, so all steering was lost.  It foundered and began to list to fifteen degrees starboard. 

The situation looked hopeless and the order was given to abandon ship.  The lifeboat had been lost, washed overboard, so the crew lashed themselves together and jumped into the icy sea.  They had jumped into the midst of the storm; into the darkness of the night.  Only the lights of the ship could be seen until all was dark.

One by one they died, through out the night for the next thirty-six hours.  Only two of them survived.  What happened to the St. Patrick?  Look at this conversation between the two survivors, from “Working on the Edge”, by Spike Walker:

The next day, Thomas learned that one other crewmate had survived the ordeal.  As he lay recovering in a Kodiak hospital bed, nurses wheeled in Bob Kidd for a visit.

 “I can’t believe it,” Thomas confided to his good friend.  “I would never have believed that a ship built like the St. Patrick could have gone down as quickly as she did.
Bob sat upright and turned and looked at Wally Thomas in astonishment.

“Wally,” said Kidd, It didn’t go down.  It didn’t sink.  They found the St. Patrick floating the day after we abandoned ship.  They’re towing it in right now!”

They had jumped too soon.  All they had to do was ride it out.  The ship was found twenty-four hours after they had abandoned ship; twelve hours before the last person died.

I want to post a message that I have entitled, “Shipwreck.”

Acts 27:7-11 (NKJV)
27:7 When we had sailed slowly many days, and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus, the wind not permitting us to proceed, we sailed under the shelter of Crete off Salmone. 8 Passing it with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens, near the city of Lasea. 9 Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Paul advised them, 10 saying, "Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives." 11 Nevertheless the centurion was more persuaded by the helmsman and the owner of the ship than by the things spoken by Paul.

Acts 27:18-25 (NKJV)
27:18 And because we were exceedingly tempest-tossed, the next day they lightened the ship. 19 On the third day we threw the ship's tackle overboard with our own hands. 20 Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up. 21 But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, "Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. 22 And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23 For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, 24 saying, 'Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.' 25 Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.

Acts 27:40-44 (NKJV)
27:40 And they let go the anchors and left them in the sea, meanwhile loosing the rudder ropes; and they hoisted the mainsail to the wind and made for shore. 41 But striking a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the prow stuck fast and remained immovable, but the stern was being broken up by the violence of the waves. 42 And the soldiers' plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim away and escape. 43 But the centurion, wanting to save Paul, kept them from their purpose, and commanded that those who could swim should jump overboard first and get to land, 44 and the rest, some on boards and some on parts of the ship. And so it was that they all escaped safely to land.
Decisions can Lead to Shipwreck

Every day we make decisions, every day we can make decisions that cause shipwreck.  Each and every day we look at some aspect or another of our lives and make a decision.  Most of those are simple decisions.  Will I get up and go to work?  What will I have for breakfast?  Some are more difficult.  Should I accept this job offer or wait for another?  Our entire life is made up of decisions.

Every thing we do stems from a decision we have made, and sometimes we can make a decision that causes problems in our lives.  We can make a decision that can haunt us for their rest of our lives.

I was listening to a radio psychology show, not long ago, and a young woman that called into the show was in the midst of wrestling through a decision she needed to make.  Her father and mother were divorced.  Her father had remarried and this young woman was very angry at the new wife and didn't like her.  So, she was wrestling with the decision to tell her father that she didn't want his wife in her life. 

The radio host put this decision into perspective by telling her that the real decision she was struggling with was whether or not she wanted her father in her life, because the father wouldn't leave his wife and destroy the relationship.  The girl was deciding if her father was worth putting up with the wife.  Her decision came down to this:  A relative of this woman had molested her and her father had ignored the signs of abuse.  He feigned ignorance, rationalizing that it didn't really happen.  So now this young woman was making a decision that would affect her family for generations, all because of a decision that her father made to make life simpler for him and not confront that issue with his wife and protect the child at the same time – SHIPWRECK!

Do you know what’s really sad?  We make decisions that deep and far-ranging, so cavalierly, so quickly.

A friend of mine made a decision that way.  He had been a Christian for a number of years and made a decision to walk into a strip club.  He rationalized it in his mind.  He said he needed to see what it was that had such a pull on the lives of other men.  This is one of the things from which he himself had been delivered and he walked in there making a decision to compromise his testimony and place his entire destiny at risk – SHIPWRECK!

There are people who have left their churches; walked out angry and bitter slamming you and the fellowship and your pastor, because they had made a decision that they weren’t willing to deal with some issue in their own life.  Sometimes, it’s easier to get mad at the pastor than face the painful truth that you aren’t living right.  How many times have you seen someone flushing their lives and relationships over some issue of pride in their life? It’s like abandoning ship in the midst of a storm – SHIPWRECK!

A decision you make today can destroy your life and your destiny.  The captain of the St. Patrick decided they had to abandon ship.  He should have tried to ride it out.  He made the wrong decision.  So did the centurion in our text, he decided that even though it was late in the year, even though he had been warned, even though they had already encountered difficulty that they would attempt to sail on.  It was a decison that led directly to the loss of the vessel off the shore of Malta.  His decision led directly to shipwreck.  We need to be careful because our decisions can lead to same fate for us.

Storms in the Middle of God’s Will

Even when you’re in the middle of God’s will for your life, storms can blow up.  Those storms can cause shipwreck in your life, as well.  In our text Paul is in the middle of God’s will for his life.  He’s doing exactly what God called him to do.  He’s been preaching the Gospel.  He’s been laboring for souls.  He’s been faithful to God’s call on his life and yet he finds himself in the midst of the storm and the shipwreck.  We see in the text that Paul is in God’s will at the very moment of the shipwreck:

Acts 27:21-25 (NKJV)
27:21 But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, "Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. 22 And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23 For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, 24 saying, 'Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.' 25 Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.

We can see it as he speaks to the Angel of God in verse 24, who is speaking of the destiny that Paul must live out, “You must be brought before Caesar.”  God had a plan for Paul that included being brought before Caesar.  Paul was right in the middle of that plan, en route to being seen by Caesar and yet look at the storm that he encountered as the devil tried to short-circuit what God had planned.  Believe me I know what’s happening here.  I've encountered this in my own life. 

A number of years ago I was outreaching for an event that we had planned.  I was walking across a parking lot, because there were some young men that I had seen before and I wanted an opportunity to witness to them, and invite them to this event.  I looked both ways, I’m disabled and very careful about crossing the street, because I can’t move quickly to get out of the way.  A pickup truck came from around a corner, knocked me down and literally ran over me.  The truck went on leaving me lying bleeding in the gutter. 

Approximately two weeks later, in the paychecks of the people I worked with, as a dispatcher, was a questionnaire asking which dispatcher the men preferred, me or the other man.   It asked pointed questions, “Is dispatch helpful?” “Has your equipment ever been late?” “Who is the better dispatcher?’  They wanted the dirt, they were actually asking who should we fire? You decide.

Five days later at 3:45 am I woke up with severe pains in my chest, like a cramp that spread to my shoulders and jaw. I wound up in the hospital for three days with a week off work after that.  On the very day I returned to work I was fired from my job.

I was in the middle of God’s will for my life.  I was preaching the Gospel.  I was outreaching and following up on new believers.  I was in the midst of doing what I was called to do, and I still found myself in the midst of a storm as I was pummeled by wave after wave.  I called it “Hell Month.”

Matthew 5:45 (NKJV)
5:45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Being in God’s will doesn't always save us from going through things.  It doesn't mean that some rogue wave isn't going to bust through and stop us in our tracks.  We have to be prepared for what comes at us.  On the St. Patrick there was a hatch left open and water poured through it into the engine room and destroyed the engines.  That stopped all forward momentum and that took away the ability to steer the ship.  In our lives faith and prayer are the hatchways that protect the engines and keeps us moving forward in His will.

In our text it was Paul’s faith that encouraged them and kept them moving forward.  God has a plan for your life as well.

Surviving Shipwreck

Shipwrecks can be survived.  You don’t have to go down with all hands.  The key is what you decide to do. 

One thing that happens is that as we testify, many times we paint a picture of a changed life. That’s absolutely genuine; my life has never been the same.  I am a completely different person.  I think, though, that we sometimes leave the impression that bad things will never happen again… but they do.  Life does not become whipped cream and cherries.  We all have to go through things.  We all have struggles we have to deal with.  Life can still be difficult, and we need to be prepared to deal with that.

People get saved and they think, “All my troubles are behind me.  I have no more worries.”  If we’re not prepared we can be overwhelmed and decide that we made a mistake in salvation and begin to look outside for comfort.  We can think, “I never went through all of this before I got saved.”  At that point we think life was better before we got saved.  That happened to Israel in the desert. 

God manifested Himself in power and delivered them from Egypt.  We haven’t seen God move with that kind of power since:  The plagues:  The miracles:  The Red Sea parted:  The Egyptian army destroyed…powerful stuff. Yet, just a few weeks later the Israelites were whining about Leeks.  Look at this:

Numbers 11:5-6 (NKJV)
11:5 We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; 6 but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!"

Leeks are giant onions.  That’s how warped we can get.  Here, God is providing all for them.  He delivered them.  He manifested His power, destroyed the Egyptians and now is raining food down on them from Heaven, and they don’t like what He’s giving them.  It sounds like my kids at dinner, “I don’t like Manna!”  "Really?  What did you do to deserve a vote?”  The Israelites were ready to jump ship.  They were going to give up.  Sometimes, we think the answer is to quit, to abandon ship, to go somewhere else and start over.  Do you know that when you leave you take you with you? 

In the 1970s there was a revolutionary group called the Symbionese Liberation Army, the SLA.  They kidnapped Patty Hearst. Robbed a bank and most of them died in a shootout with the cops at a house in Compton, CA.  One woman, Kathleen Soliah, went underground, moved to a different state, and became someone else.  She abandoned ship.  Twenty-five years later whe was arrested and charged with attempted murder on a police officer and murder for her role in a bank robbery and was sentenced to twenty-five years to life.  She couldn’t hide from herself.  How many of us have tried that? 

Things get too hard, we’re confronted by our own sin and we think we can just go somewhere else.  We try to abandon ship, but we can't do that, because we still have that sin in our lives.  The best thing to do is to ride it out.  Huddle together, to keep away spiritual hypothermia.  Your brothers and sisters want to help you, not see you drown.  Your pastor wants to help you, not see your destiny destroyed.  Batten down the hatches.  Don’t let your forward momentum be destroyed, so that you can continue to steer through the storms.  Finally, don’t abandon ship.  The biggest mistake of this illustration was that they left the ship when it wasn’t sinking. 

We’ve seen people leave the church, and in leaving they have begun to drown.  All because they made a decision that it was safer to leave the ship and battle the waves on their own.  Ride it out.  The key to survival is in the decisions that you make.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Preparing for a Move of God

I've been talking to a lot of people, lately, who've been interested in a move of God in their lives.  God does move.  But the question for the day is, “How can we prepare for a move of God.” 

There is an old story about two farmers.  Both of them are struggling to keep crops growing in the middle of a drought.  Both of them were in dire need of a miracle.  Their crops were failing.  They were looking for a move of God. So they did the only thing they could do, they prayed that God would bring rain.  Then one of them sat back and waited for God to move and the other went out and prepared his fields for rain. 

We can prepare for God to move.  Of course, this illustration is talking about faith.  We all have great faith, right?  We are all full of faith, right.  I knew it.  But faith isn't about just believing.  It isn't just about intellectual thought.  It is about faith in action. 

There are things we can do that will initiate a move on God’s part.  So today I want to post on preparing for a move of God from this portion of scripture:

Acts 10:29-33 (NKJV)
10:29 Therefore I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. I ask, then, for what reason have you sent for me?" 30 So Cornelius said, "Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, 31 and said, 'Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God. 32 Send therefore to Joppa and call Simon here, whose surname is Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea. When he comes, he will speak to you.' 33 So I sent to you immediately, and you have done well to come. Now therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things commanded you by God."

The Actions of Faith

So, here we have Cornelius, he’s a centurion.  That means he’s a Roman commander of 100 troops.  He’s not a Jew, but the Bible tells us that he fears God.  I’m talking here about reverence and respect.  He’s a Roman leader that believes God.

Acts 10:1-2 (NKJV)
10:1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, 2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.

He doesn't live like a Jew.  He’s not following all the Jewish laws about food, for one thing.  He lives like a Roman.  He’s a Gentile.  Interestingly, God gave him a vision, of an angel.  The angel told him to send for Peter in Joppa.  So he did as the angel commanded.  Peter came to him even though there’s a Jewish law that says that Jews don’t mix with Gentiles.  Look at what Peter says when he arrives at Cornelius’ house:

Acts 10:27-28 (NKJV)
10:27 And as he talked with him, he went in and found many who had come together. 28 Then he said to them, "You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

So, there are two actions of faith taking place here: 

1)      Cornelius sent for Peter based on the angel’s word.
2)      Peter broke Jewish law to answer the call and go.

You can say that both of these men prepared for God’s move.  In the illustration only one farmer prepared for God’s move.  What I want to look at today isn't their faith.  Obviously, both of them had faith.  What I want to look at today is preparation. 

Cornelius, by the way he lived, prepared for God to move.  Let’s examine that; let’s look at what the angel said to Cornelius.

Acts 10:31 (NKJV)
10:31 and said, 'Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God.

This is the angel speaking to Cornelius and he says, “Your prayers have been heard…”  God has heard the prayers and is answering them.  Then he says, “Your alms have been remembered.” So this wasn't a chance thing here.  God moved because of Cornelius’ preparation. 

First, Cornelius prayed and fasted:  Acts 10:20 says, “Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house.”

Second, Cornelius gave alms, in verse thirty-one it says, “And your alms are remembered in the sight of God.”  So fasting and prayer, and the giving of alms was the way that Cornelius prepared to see God move.  Both of these are an act of faith. 

Have you ever fasted?  Fasting is an act of denial.  You go without eating because you believe God will respond to your fast.  It takes faith to fast.  I can’t even begin to tell you how many times people have told me that fasting is bad for my health, but I’m still here, still in relatively good health,  and I have fasted many, many times.  In fact, I fast at least one day per week. 

Fasting and prayer goes hand in hand.  If you fast without prayer what you’re really doing is just not eating.  Fasting and praying together are the actions of faith. 

It also takes faith to give.  We always think we have to hold on to our money, in order to have more of it.  Time and time again, though, financial advisers recommend giving.  Look at this quote from a book entitled The Power of Giving

With so many challenges to cope with, you may ask yourself, “Why should I expend any effort in giving?” or “I’m already scrambling to deal with all the demands and pressures on me.  How will I find time and resources to give more?” or “No one gives to me, why should I give to others?”

In this chapter we hope to show that no matter what your circumstances in life, you have the ability to give.  As well, giving is good for you.  it provides the following benefits:
  • It can make a positive difference to others.
  • There are emotional, physical, even financial benefits to you.
  • It can help you to achieve your full potential.
  • It can bring you more meaning, fulfillment and happiness. 
This is a secular book.  These authors are financial men and fund raisers.  The book is about how giving benefits both those who receive and those who give. 

So, if we examine what motivated God to move in Cornelius’ house it's prayer and fasting, and giving that the angel mentioned that God noticed.  Both are acts of faith.  Those acts show an openness to a move of God.

How are These Things a Preparation?

Why is it that we can look at fasting and prayer, and giving as a preparation for a move of God?  To answer that let’s look at them individually.    Let’s begin with prayer:

James 5:16 (NKJV)
5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

So, James tells us that the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.  Let’s break all of that down by looking at the definitions of those words.

  • Effective – producing a decisive or desired effect.
  • Fervent – marked by great intensity of feeling (impassioned)
  • Avails – to be of use or advantage:  HELP:  BENEFIT

You can produce the desired effect by praying with great intensity.  This is what Cornelius did, he prayed AND fasted; that fasting, that denial of self is what gave the prayer great intensity.  Throughout the Bible there are stories of men who have fasted and seen God move.  Daniel fasted for clarity of the vision of the end times that he had.  The early Christians fasted and prayed for Paul and Barnabus on their first mission trip.  King Darius, (another non-Christian like Cornelius) fasted and prayed so the lions wouldn't eat Daniel.  Saul of Tarsus, King Ahab, the people of Ninevah, they all fasted and God moved in every case.

When we’re passionate about something we’re willing to do whatever it takes, to make it happen.  If you want to succeed in business you have to be passionate enough to overcome all the hurdles of life to get there.   If you want your business to be successful there is always something you have to work through.  The thing that really helps you is how much passion you have about what you’re doing.  If you passionately believe in it, then you will do whatever you need to do to see it happen.  You won’t be complaining that you have to get up in the morning and go to work.  You won’t be upset about having to work a lot of hours.  You won’t mind the sacrifices you have to make to have it happen. 

Shouldn't the same be true of the things you need God to move in, in your life?  Don’t we go to God for the things we really need God to move in?  Do you REALLY want God to move in your finances?  Do you REALLY want to see friends and family saved?  Do you PASSIONATELY want God to move?  If so, then you need to be fervent, passionate, intense about seeing God move, and He will move. 

Let’s look at giving, now, as a means to prepare for God to move:

Mark 12:41-42 (NKJV)
12:41 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. 42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans.

Look at this story of the widow.  Jesus is sitting by the treasury; He’s watching people give.  He’s looking at their giving as a way of seeing their fervency.  He sees the Pharisees give out of their abundance.  They rich and they give large amounts.  The widow gives a very small amount, but there is something special about her giving. 

Mark 12:43-44 (NKJV)
12:43 So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood."

She gave it all…there is no doubt about her passion.  The others gave greater amounts, but it was what they could afford.  The widow gave in faith.  She gave without thought for what would happen in the future.  God sees that.  We’re still reading about her two thousand years later.  He giving is a remembrance before God.  Do you remember where you've seen that before?

Acts 10:31 (NKJV)
10:31 and said, 'Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God.

That’s what the angel said to Cornelius.  The widow and Cornelius have something in common, they’re both fervent about their giving and it touches God. 

God is touched when we give in faith:

Genesis 4:2-5 (NKJV)
4:2 Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. 4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, 5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

The difference between Cain and Abel’s giving was faith.  Cain gave out of abundance.  He came with leftovers.  Abel gave in faith; he gave the firstborn.  If you give with fervency like the widow, like Abel then God will move.

What is Preparation for a Move of God?

God moves powerfully in Cornelius’ life.  Look what happens:

God instructs Cornelius in what to do.  He tells for Cornelius to send for Peter in Joppa.  At the same time He’s preparing Peter to respond.  God has to overcome some things in Peter’s life so that he can respond to God’s call here.  First, there’s the food issue.  Cornelius is a Gentile and he eats like a Gentile, Peter can’t do that.  God has to work it out.  He does that with a vision – “Rise Peter, slay and eat.” 

The second thing that must be overcome is that Peter and Cornelius don’t know each other. These people show up at his house and tell him that Cornelius wants to see him.  Peter isn't supposed to visit the home of non-Jews.  It’s a matter of Jewish law.   God has moved to prepare Peter and Cornelius so that He can respond to Cornelius’ prayer. 

Now, look at what happens when Peter arrives at Cornelius’ house:

Acts 10:44-48 (NKJV)
10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, 47 "Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.

Cornelius’ whole household is saved, and then the Holy Ghost fell.  This is a powerful move of God.  This is the first time the Holy Ghost has fallen on a Gentile. This is a powerful move of God.  So what was the preparation?  Prayer Giving and obedience.  Cornelius had to be obedient to what God told him.  Peter had to obediently respond to God’s call.  We can’t downplay obedience, here. God moves through obedience. 

Do you remember the widow of Zarephath?  She’s facing ruin and God responds by giving her an instruction that results in God’s provision for her.  If we obey God’s message then we will see His response to our prayers, too. 

If you’re like me you’re looking at this New Year and you’re saying, “God I need you to move in this specific area of my life.”  But you can’t just say, “God I need you to move,” you need to prepare for a move of God; prepare your field for rain.  Pray and fast with passion and fervency, so that God will make your prayer effective.  Give with faith so that your giving touches God.  Be obedient to God’s instruction, do what God calls you to do and God will be able to move.  If you leave out a part of that you tie God’s hands.  He’s trying to move but you’re not listening.  Open your heart and prepare for God’s move and watch what God will do.