Make prayer the steering wheel of your life as do Alex and Stephen Kendrick but you also need to get out of the driver’s seat and let the Holy Spirit take control.
Brothers Alex and Stephen Kendrick, who have created iconic Christian films like “Facing the Giants,” “Courageous,” “Fireproof,” “War Room,” and “Overcomer,” are gearing up for a unique, new project they believe is a “divine appointment” for the times in which we’re living. “Lifemark,” which releases in select theaters nationwide on September 9 with Fathom Events, tells the true story of an adopted young man’s journey to meet his birth parents. The film comes as society boisterously debates the life issue and as the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to potentially overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that codified nationalized abortion. The Kendricks, who partnered with actor Kirk Cameron to create the powerful adoption story, know the timing isn’t a coincidence.
This movie is a result of prayer and letting God direct the Kendrick brother’s actions.
Watch this video and be inspired. If you live in the USA watch out for the movie, Lifemark in September.
Thank goodness we have the Psalms: how helpful they are in our Christian walk, they explore the full range of human experience in a very personal and practical way. However, one psalm, Psalm 22 stands out because Jesus quotes verse 1 as His last words from the Cross. Why did Jesus take us to this psalm? It is obvious when we read the rest of the psalm, the psalm is a prophecy of what Jesus was experiencing on The Cross at the time He spoke it.
David had no understanding God was using Him to deliver a prophecy that provides incredible detail about what Jesus would experience on The Cross one thousand years later. David was obviously going through a terrible time in his life to have expressed the words he did in this prayer but consider that God gave David the words to pray so that His prayer could be used by Jesus to prove He is who He said He was, the promised Redeemer of not only Israel but the World.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest. Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. To you they cried and were rescued; in you, they trusted and were not put to shame. But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; “He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!… I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death. For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet— I can count all my bones— they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots... ” Psalms 22:1-8
Note how Psalm 22 ends, David understood that regardless of whether God answered his prayer, God is still in control of His universe and this scripture will come to pass:
“As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to Me, and every tongue will give praise to God.” Romans 14:11
Moreover, it reveals that King Jesus will rule over the nations from Jerusalem in His soon coming Millennial Kingdom.
“I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation,I will praise you: You who fear theLORD, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel! For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him but has heard when he cried to him. From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will perform before those who fear him. The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD! May your hearts live forever! All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you. For kingship belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations.“Psalms 22:22-28
A lot of bad theology inevitably surfaces when we face suffering. When people lose their faith because of suffering, it suggests a weak or nominal faith that didn’t account for or prepare them for evil and suffering. Any faith not based on the truth needs to be lost—the sooner, the better.
Suffering and evil exert a force that either pushes us away from God or pulls us toward Him. But if personal suffering gives sufficient evidence that God doesn’t exist, then surely I shouldn’t wait until I suffer to conclude He’s a myth. If my suffering would one day justify denying God, then I should deny Him now in light of other people’s suffering.
Believing that God exists is not the same as trusting the God who exists. A nominal Christian often discovers in suffering that his faith has been in his church, family, career, or social network, but not Christ. As he faces evil and suffering, he may find his beliefs shaken or even destroyed. But genuine faith—trusting God even when we don’t understand—will be made stronger and purer.
The last three paras have been excerpted from Randy Alcorn’s book “90 Days of God’s Goodness”.
In times of great political change, major cultural transformation, and social upheaval like you and I see today, we have to remember that God is in control.
This is of extraordinary comfort to the Christian. God knows His people and He cares for them.
That is the story of Scripture and of history. And that is your story. He will not leave or forsake you – that is one thing you can be certain about.
There is not one square inch of all creation over which God is not sovereign. He governs all things; He ordains all things. He sits above and behind all things and gives all things their meaning – including the government.
Daniel 2:21 tells us: “He changes times and seasons, deposes kings, and sets up kings.”
Romans 13:1: Paul said: “there is no authority except God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God.”
God can’t be shut out of government.
Some want to say, “No, this is a secular society and God cannot come in.” But it’s not possible. It matters not whether the people in government have faith or not. God was, and is, already there.
And you and I are in a rare situation today – it’s called a democracy.
That means as Christians in this nation, you and I can be a voice of righteousness when leaders are weak, failing, or evil. It means you and I have an opportunity to speak up. We can tell the truth. We can mobilise.
Some may say, “Does political action really matter? Shouldn’t we just preach the Gospel?” My response would be: “Why can’t we do both?”
You and I need to be whole Christians. We need to be Christians who live and speak the Gospel in the workplace, in the community, and in the public squares. That’s when people will ask, “What’s different about you?” and they’ll come on the journey towards Christ.
That is desperately needed right now. YOU are needed right now – to be salt and light in a society that is gripped by uncertainty.
In difficult times the work of God becomes more urgent, not less. People need to hear the truth with more urgency and clarity because the stakes are higher.
You and I are called to speak of Christ, represent Christ, and do good. To be salt to stop the decay, and light to drive out the darkness.
Democracy is a precious gift we can use to be the voice that our leaders sometimes are not.
And that leads me to the upcoming elections. If you want to know how you should vote, I will tell you … Vote for righteousness.
Don’t vote for the widest motorway or the biggest welfare cheque. Vote at a macro level for right and wrong.
Obviously, it’s never a perfect choice. But vote for the one who you truly believe will promote that which is good, and restrain that which is evil, more than the other. That’s what the government is meant to do!
ACL is here to inform you, equip you, and mobilise you to be a voice of truth and righteousness at a time when there are many conflicting messages, and when our government is making critical decisions for our nation.
Does the world consider that the one who has the most power, the most authority, and the most strength is God?God has unlimited power, and He uses that power.
“Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps. He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth, who makes lightnings for the rain and brings forth the wind from His storehouses.” Psalms 135:6-7
“Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; to Him who alone does great wonders … to him who by understanding made the heavens… to him who spread out the earth above the waters… to him who made the great lights… the sun to rule over the day… the moon and stars to rule over the night,for his steadfast love endures forever;” Psalms 136:3-9
He need only to speak and things are created. Jesus said just two words to the storm and it was still. God said just two words and there was light. On top of that, God owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalms 50:10).
There is nothing God wants to do that He can’t do. “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
God has power over the created world. It is His mighty power that causes the rain to fall and the sun to rise. God exercises this power in the everyday, normal operations of the earth. We see this when we consider the power of floods or volcanic eruptions.
God’s power is specially revealed when He acts in a way that is different from natural phenomena. He uses His power to cause the sea to part (Exodus 14:21), the sun to stand still (Joshua 10:12-13), the water to turn to wine (John 2: 1-11), and the dead to come back to life (John 11:1-46).
God also has power over people. He raises up kings and causes them to fall (Daniel 4:17). He turns the king’s heart like channels of water (Proverbs 21:1).
God opens the eyes of the spiritually blind and sends the Holy Spirit to indwell their spirit enabling them to live the Christian life with a new heart that they might love Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-6). This is the power of God on full display.
Christians pray to God asking him to act because we know that He is the only one who is able to do all that He wants and He will answer our prayers if we are operating according to His will.
Adapted from an article by Thomas Eglinton The Attributes of God: All Powerful in AP Journal of the Presbyterian Reformed Church of Australia.
Keener is not one to throw ideas against walls to see if they’ll stick. Keener is one of the best-known scholars of the Bible and early Christianity in the world today. He is careful with his research and documents everything. The point of the book, as the back-cover states, is to demonstrate via examples “that miraculous works of God, which have been part of the experience of the church around the world since Christianity began, continue into the present.”
This stated goal is admirably accomplished by Dr. Keener. He commences the book by addressing a few preliminary questions. What is a miracle, anyway? Why do some people assume that miracles don’t happen? Do many people witness miracles? Do only Christians report Christian healings?
He then launches into the main portion of the book in which he briefly relates the details of hundreds of well-attested miracles, but especially healings. This middle section comprises about 75% of the book proper. At the end of the book, Keener addresses a few more key questions people often wonder about miracles. Why don’t we see more miracles in the West? What is the role of faith? What about when healing is temporary? What does the Bible say about non-healing?
I appreciate Keener’s candid honesty in acknowledging that most blind people who have received prayer are still blind, and most dead people prayed for are still dead (pp. 137, 202). He comments, “What we call miracles are still the exception rather than the rule,” (p. 221). But his main point is that whether you or I have personally witnessed a dramatic miracle or not, many significant and verifiable miracles have occurred and still occur in answer to the prayers of God’s people all around the globe.
One other thing I appreciate about this book is Keener’s acknowledgment that more dramatic miracles occur more frequently on the frontlines of Christian evangelism than they do where the church is well-established (pp. 31, 33 135, 183, 201, 203). He still affirms, however, that such dramatic miracles sometimes happen in the West, too (pp. 151, 203).
Practically, this book reminded me to stay expectant when I pray. In any way He chooses, and at any time He chooses, God may do something momentous to display His glory and help those who witness His mighty acts of mercy to trust Him more fully.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6
The Apostle Paul says that in every single circumstance, we can tell God what we are feeling and, as a result, the Lord will protect our hearts and minds from the weight of this world.
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” Romans 8:26
Here Paul makes it clear that the indwelling Holy Spirit helps us communicate our requests to God. We can rest assured He is advocating for us in our confusion and lack.
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”Colossians 3:1-2
Paul reminds us that our lives are not determined or controlled by forces on this earth. Our security is in Jesus, and that should guide our thinking.
“If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you — you of little faith?”Matthew 6:30
Even if His provision doesn’t look the way we think it should, God can be trusted to meet our greatest needs. How much more can God care for you, for whom He sent His Son, Jesus, to die?
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
While we certainly ought to engage in the world, Paul warns against becoming so consumed by its trappings that we begin to mirror it. Instead, we should set boundaries and see the temporary circumstances around us through the lens of our renewed minds, which come through sanctification as a result of salvation through Jesus.
The Lord is eager to meet us in every situation and circumstance, including when we’re overwhelmed by the constant flow of information fed to us by our newsfeeds. Take some time today to turn off your phone and focus on our priority: Jesus.
Remember as long as Peter kept his eyes fixed on Jesus, he was able to walk on the water. Live eternal now.
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by his Son, (Jesus) whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name He has inherited is more excellent than theirs.” Hebrews 1:1-3
Notice the plan is all about JESUS ( the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature). God our heavenly Father, created the world through Jesus and He upholds the universe by the word of His power. Jesus came into this world to pay the price for our SIN (disobedience of Adam and Eve at the Fall of Man, the penalty for which was death). Jesus died in our place “making purification for sins” so that whoever believes in Him can have eternal life.
The only important event missing from this summary is Jesus return to this earth to complete the promise the Father made to Abraham. Jesus will rule all nations, the world from Jerusalem. God has unfinished business with His nation Israel that He established for His purposes.
“And when He (Jesus) had said these things, as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven?This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”Acts 1:9-11
“The Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.” Exodus 3:7-8
This Scripture tells us that God has decided to deliver the Jews out of the hand of the Egyptians and give them their own land which is now occupied by other nations. The next verse tells us who the Lord is speaking to and where. It is Moses and he is tending sheep which is what he has been doing for the last 40 years. Then we learn that God tells a reluctant Moses that He is going to use Moses to achieve His purposes.
What can we learn from these scriptures as to how God brings about His purposes on this earth and how He might want to use us to bring about His will on earth. Bear in mind most of us are praying to God “for His will to be done on earth as it is done in heaven” This is the prayer Jesus taught us to pray: “Our Father who is in heaven hallowed be your name, Your Kingdom come Your Will be done on earth as it is in heaven… ”
Do we realise that this phrase in the Lord’s prayer is about us submitting and allowing God to use us to do His will!
God chose Moses right from His birth to bring about the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt and to bring them to the Promised Land. All of Moses life experiences prepared him for that task particularly his time, effectively as the Pharaoh’s sisters child, in the Pharaoh’s palace. Also, Joseph’s life story of preparation for God’s purposes through difficult circumstances is similar to that of Moses.
The Scriptures are full of examples of God using people to do His will on earth.
Philip is told to go and speak to the Ethiopian (Acts 8).
Ananias is called to go and lay hands on Saul/Paul (Acts 9).
Peter is sent to go and speak to Cornelius (Acts 10).
Most often God does the work of fulfilling His purposes on earth through His people.
Can I suggest you consider what life experiences you have had and therefore what God may be preparing for you to do to bring about His will on this earth. It may not be as grand a task as that of Moses and Joseph’s but God does have a plan for you to help bring about His Will on this earth. Keep praying the Lord’s Prayer with this in mind.
Dr Martin Luther King certainly knew He does. God speaks especially to His people but also to anyone in order to achieve His purposes in His world. Even kings such as Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:1-3) and Darius (Daniel 6:28), to name two kings of major empires, Babylon and Persia. Read one of Martin Luther’s encounters from his book Stride Toward Freedom (1958): “I got out of bed and began to walk the floor. Finally I went to the kitchen and heated a pot of coffee. I was ready to give up. With my cup of coffee sitting untouched before me I tried to think of a way to move out of the picture without appearing a coward. In this state of exhaustion, when my courage had all but gone, I decided to take my problem to God. With my head in my hands, I bowed over the kitchen table and prayed aloud. The words I spoke to God that midnight are still vivid in my memory. “I am here taking a stand for what I believe is right. But now I am afraid. The people are looking to me for leadership, and if I stand before them without strength and courage, they too will falter. I am at the end of my powers. I have nothing left. I’ve come to the point where I can’t face it alone.”
“At that moment I experienced the presence of the Divine as I had never experienced Him before. It seemed as though I could hear the quiet assurance of an inner voice saying: “Stand up for righteousness, stand up for truth; and God will be at your side forever.” Almost at once my fears began to go. My uncertainty disappeared. I was ready to face anything. “Three nights later, on January 30, I left home a little before seven to attend our Monday evening mass meeting at the First Baptist Church. A member of my congregation, Mrs. Mary Lucy Williams, had come to the parsonage to keep my wife company in my absence. After putting the baby to bed, Coretta and Mrs. Williams went to the living room to look at television. About nine-thirty they heard a noise in front that sounded as though someone had thrown a brick. In a matter of seconds an explosion rocked the house. A bomb had gone off on the porch.
“The sound was heard many blocks away, and word of the bombing reached the mass meeting almost instantly. Toward the close of the meeting, as I stood on the platform helping to take the collection, I noticed an usher rushing to give Ralph Abernathy a message. Abernathy turned and ran downstairs, soon to reappear with a worried look on his face. Several others rushed in and out of the church. People looked at me and then away; one or two seemed about to approach me and then changed their minds. An usher called me to the side of the platform, presumably to give me a message, but before I could get there S. S. Seay had sent him away. By now I was convinced that whatever had happened affected me. I called Ralph Abernathy, S. S. Seay, and E. N. French and asked them to tell me what was wrong. Ralph looked at Seay and French and then turned to me and said hesitantly “Your house has been bombed.” I asked if my wife and baby were all right. They said, “We are checking on that now.”
“Strangely enough, I accepted the word of the bombing calmly. My religious experience a few nights before had given me the strength to face it. I interrupted the collection and asked all present to give me their undivided attention. After telling them why I had to leave, I urged each person to go straight home after the meeting and adhere strictly to our philosophy of nonviolence. I admonished them not to become panicky and lose their heads. “Let us keep moving,” I urged them, “with the faith that what we are doing is right, and with the even greater faith that God is with us in the struggle.
Some of us will have an experience like that of Martin Luther particularly when we come before God in our weariness, confessing our inability to continue confronting a godless world. Sadly, much of the church no longer believes God answers prayer and is in total control of His universe. What about you?
End of September, Torben and the Last Reformation team drove to Washington D.C. for the prayer march 2020 organized by Franklin Graham. Over 100.000 people were there to pray for the nation. They recognised that America is at a critical time, a tipping point, when its Judaeo Christian heritage (In God We Trust) could be discarded.
Torben said, “We went there with a desire in our hearts to see America get Born again, as the scripture says “No one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born again out of water and the Spirit” We had great expectations from the beginning and we saw how God moved as we were preaching the Gospel and healing the sick. People got set free from pain, sicknesses, anxiety, demons, etc. A demon was cast out of a woman who considered herself a Christian. As we walked through the crowds singing the missionary anthem, many were touched and opened the ways for us to pass. It was truly a special moment.”
This is a video of some of the highlights that took place in those days.