Searching for an encounter with God

Christ-centered leadership, Leadership Decision-making, Trust, Uncategorized

At the heart of the recounting of Moses on Mt Horeb and the Burning Bush is a love story, one that shows a sovereign God that is committed to us. In the midst of our daily grind, our mundane life, God has each of us on his mind. God is constantly trying to, at even the most generic moments of our life, to focus on him. He desperately wants our attention.

Scripture shows us through the Angel of the Lord he caused a ‘Fire’ to light upon the bush but the bush wasn’t consumed or burned as a means to capture Moses’ attention. Spiritual Food for thought for later, have we been used to get someone’s else attention for God. Were you the flame? Were you the bush? Both were tools in God’s hand but served a totally different purpose and came through a unique experience.

Back to Mt Horeb and Moses, the salient point is near. Sometimes we seek this different experience with God and miss the wonder of his presence. Guilty of this myself at times, please don’t do that, every moment in his presence needs to be cherished.

Instead of Moses marveling in Jehovah’s presence he wanted to see the source of God (the flame.) In hind sight we can easy ridicule or laugh at the notion but if we search our steps we will clearly find moments such as these regarding our behavior. How many times have we been so busy in the mundane or the needless busyness of our lives that we aren’t living in the moment and God shows up and has to say, “Dwight, Dwight! Here I Am. Over Here.”

–by Dwight Herlong

Father God, 

Thank you that you never leave us alone. You realize that we are incapable of ever finding you if we aren’t first seeking you properly (in your word, in our circumstances, in prayer, in fellowship with other Christians). It’s as if we wonder through a maze and at times, when we are in need of direction, you pick us up by the shirt collar and place us down in another part of the maze. Thank you that you do this for us.  Help us to realize the experience of your intervention in our lives, purposed to head us in the right direction, running toward, rather than away from you!  You are amazing!  

In Jesus name, 

Amen (def. this is truth).

I believe [but] Help me in my unbelief!

Christ-centered leadership, Empowerment, Engagement, Leadership Decision-making, Trust

In Mark 9 a father cried out to Jesus to save his child from seizures and to cast out a demon. The disciples had tried and failed. Jesus comes along and says the following:

“If thou canst believe, all things [are] possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” Mark 9:23-24

The boy was instantly healed. The disciples, (those delegated and responsible for spreading the gospel, healing the sick, etc.) were dumbfounded.  “”And when he [Jesus] was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, except prayer and fasting.” Mark 9:28-29.

Now, many western commentaries suggest that this meant that the disciples needed to pray and fast first to be able to heal the boy. Furthermore, some commentaries [depending on the translation] suggest that fasting may or may/not have been part of the prayer to prepare for healing (although most agree it was common practice at the time). The real revelation is that the commentaries assume perhaps wrongly so, that the disciples alone were in charge or empowered to heal the man. In these, the father is an innocent and powerless by-stander. I would like to suggest that Jesus meant that the healing was successful [in part or in whole] because the father prayed (asked Jesus for help) when he said, “I believe. Help me in my unbelief.”

If this is true, then we are reminded again that as leaders, we are stewards over God’s people (at work, in the community, and at home). It is important for us to have faith but this alone will not make lasting change. We must help those followers believe [pray for their unbelief] and be careful not to miss the importance of their equal role in saving and/or healing themselves. In this case, we can learn from the father who plead for help for his lack of faith. The model of behavior here comes from him first in that he humbled himself: 1. recognized ultimate authority; 2. realized his own unbelief and then 3. submitted via prayer for help. It was at that point that Jesus responded and healing took place. By implication, this is the model not only for us but for those modern day “disciples” and Christian leaders.

God is interested in the personal relationship with each of us. He wants every person to believe in Him, not in others who have the ability to lighten our burden (physically or financial heal) or provide temporary sustenance (money, position, etc.). He is interested in eternal healing; the kind that’s lasting and spiritual. He is our source of help and is accessible to all levels, not just those in a leadership position. When we as leaders realize this, we can be so much more effective.

As we model humility [we ourselves ask for help a/k/a prayer], and respond with authority [in Christ] to those around us that ask for help, we realize rewarding leadership beyond that of worldly acknowledgment. God wants to bless us but He wants to make sure that we are acting in accordance with His wishes with the few so that we can be ready to be leaders of many!