Tag Archives: pray

An inside job

For a change, I'm actually posting a photo I took. This is Santa Monica's beach. Sorry. I don't mean to make my friends in the Northern States and Canada jealous.

For a change, I’m actually posting a photo I took. This is Santa Monica’s beach. Sorry. I don’t mean to make my friends in the Northern states and Canada jealous.

The motorcycles caught us 5 miles away from the bank. As one of four guys banged the window with a pistol demanding our bags, I had no doubt that it was the bank teller who tipped them off. He had changed our check to cash. Because all our information was in our bags, I figured they’d come back for a kidnapping, so we had to return to America, our 16 years as missionaries in Guatemala at an end.

My 10-year-old son, Hosea, calls this the Leaning Tower of Pizza. I bought these for the Lighthouse Christian Academy's sports banquet yesterday. Go Saints!

My 10-year-old son, Hosea, calls this the Leaning Tower of Pizza. I bought these for the Lighthouse Christian Academy’s sports banquet yesterday. Go Saints!

God does an inside job too! Don’t bother to make external changes in yourself — they lead to (false) religiosity. Instead, surrender to His Holy Spirit in prayer daily, and let God transform you from the inside. Once you are saved, you are forgiven, you are new creation, but then God begins a work of perfecting you that will continue for the rest of your life. But it’s on the inside.

Pastor Ludving from Guatemala sent me this T-shirt. Translated: Everyday I wake up handsome, but today I'm off the charts. Thanks for the joke, Pastor Ludving!

Pastor Ludving from Guatemala sent me this T-shirt. Translated: Everyday I wake up handsome, but today I’m off the charts. Thanks for the joke, Pastor Ludving!

In regards to prayer, remember:

  • A little bit is better than none, but God wants to work on us daily, so pray daily.
  • A little bit more will increment value and power to prayer.
  • The best prayers are ones inspired by the Bible or simply taken from the Bible. Jesus dismisses “vain repetitions” — mumbling by rote words penned by another. But there is much to learn and apply from the experts, the Bible heroes.
  • The Big D (that’s Devil) constantly bombards you with thoughts that prayer is useless, a waste of time, meaningless, etc. He does this because he knows how effective it is.
  • As you pray for others, God also is transforming you — from the inside out.
  • Enjoy prayer! Think of it as a romantic date. You are spending time with your Lover, God.

Out of pain, blessing

from blue pueblo

from blue pueblo

He was pain in the … But he got prosperity.

When Jabez was born, his mother despaired. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain” — 1 Chron. 4:9 NIV.

from Beautiful Mother Nature on Tumblr

from Beautiful Mother Nature on Tumblr

But he prayed. Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request – 1 Chron. 4:10 NIV. Prayer turned pain into prosperity.

Don’t:

  • play the victim.
  • feel sorry for yourself.
  • look for people to blame.

Do:

  • pray.
  • believe God to change circumstances.
  • look for people to support you in prayer.

Everybody wants bounty. The unavoidable path towards it is through difficulty, failure, reverses. Prayer carries you forward to the blessing.

 

 

Unpaid here

with my family

with my family

I became an actor briefly. It seemed like the logical thing to do to avoid the stigma of “unemployed.” Besides, this is LA — 60% of the people are actors, which means “unemployed.” I never took acting classes; I just declared myself an actor (it’s cheaper that way), and I no longer felt obligated to provide explanations for joblessness.

I'm hamming it up again.

I’m hamming it up again.

But soon I realized my folly. After all, I was a writer before I became an actor. About writers, let me say it is totally redundant and unnecessary to place the adjective “aspiring” in front of the word “writer.” Being a writer is another acceptable way of calling yourself “unemployed.”

with a Chinese friend. Man, is he serious!

with a Chinese friend. Man, is he serious!

Then too, I’m a prayer warrior. Boy, I keep chalking up the unremunerated professions, don’t I? At least here on Earth, it’s hard to get paid to pray.

Of course, in Heaven, it’s paid handsomely. Most people just don’t have the patience to defer their gratification that far into the future. (On second thought, given the brevity of life, maybe it’s not that long to wait for after all.)

We couldn’t enjoy the remodeling

ATT001935No sooner had we remodeled our home in Guatemala than we fled to America. A run-in with criminals forced us to leave. The trauma of the robbery at gunpoint took the foreground; the irony of our “lost investment” sat in the background.

ATT001997The stylized ceiling and modernized kitchen seemed like a good investment. We had lived in Guatemala for 15 years and did not foresee leaving our beloved missionary life. The threat of kidnapping changed that abruptly. The money already spent proved pointless.

Pointless.

Our stay in Guatemala was NOT permanent. It was temporary. So too our life here on Earth is short. ATT0020810Moses called his son Gershom, which means foreigner, because he felt like he didn’t belong in Midian. Peter says we’re only sojourners here on the globe. Our true home is Heaven.

What we invest for ATT0021412pleasure here is… well, it kind of seems pointless.

Was that what God was telling me? Whatever you do for eternity — even if it’s only five minutes of prayer today because that’s the best you can do — stands forever. We are here only briefly, so if all your effort is focused for this earth, try to enjoy these fleeting moments as much as possible. My recommendation: Work for eternity.

The extraordinary in the ordinary

beechwoodcross.blogspot.comjpg

from beechwoodcross.blogspot.com

Jesus and Peter had to pay the temple tax but had no money. So Jesus sends Peter back to his old vocation, fishing. Go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours — Matt. 17:27 NIV.

stock-illustration-10637597-coin-in-the-fish-mouthIf you are in His will, God will provide for your need. Prayer means getting the supernatural into the natural. If you’re working, you won’t have to change your routine, just request the dosage of God’s blessing upon your natural labors.

They call this miracle money, and after 33 years of being a Christian, I have seen God answer like this over and over, in my own life and others. It especially happened when I pastored in Guatemala, particularly when we bought a property and had huge mortgage payments.

define-necessityDon’t buy a lottery ticket. Just pray and believe. The extraordinary (miracle money) came out of the ordinary work (fishing), but it was blessed by God. Prayer is actively seeking that blessing.

Not greed

563071_494995527204662_794280061_nSatan targets the new pastor’s car, family health and finances. The unrelenting assault is designed to drive you crazy and make you quit. Out of this struggle when I was a missionary in Guatemala for almost 16 years, this blog was born. By “praying for finances,” I never mean greed.

Yabby curreyou CAN stave off Hell’s fury through prayer. You can see miracle money keep you in the pastoral business. Don’t grant soil to discouragement in your heart. Cultivate faith constantly and pray unceasingly. “Just barely making it” is the place where I have always been. Does it seem ironic that, while we established dominion in a church and school in Guatemala, we didn’t have great riches?

And yet we did have great riches! We had the precious souls of men, snatched off the precipice leading to Hell, transformed into valuable members of society. While the church prospered, our finances and those of the church, “hung in there.” We have no complaint. We had no lack, though many times I worried, many times I wondered where we would get the money to fix the car. Sometimes, we ran out of money, and it was unnerving, but we still had food in the cupboard.

George Muller prayed for bread and milk to feed the orphans in his care. He prayed for the bikepileheater to be fixed in the dead of winter. He prayed for hours — until the answer came. God prospered His work; He didn’t lavish luxury on His servant.

If you are not struggling financially today, I urge you to pray for some minister who undoubtedly is struggling. God will bless you for it.

He sees what can be

Coach Neos today with his wife, Bethany -- that certain pair of eyes. He now pastors in Hesperia, California.

Coach Neos today with his wife, Bethany — that certain pair of eyes. He now pastors in Hesperia, California.

Twice the lowly Lighthouse was runner-up in eight man football in California championship. With a student population of 50, that’s spectacular.

With his typical one-day stubble, just out of GQ.

With his typical one-day stubble, just out of GQ.

Those heady heights were owed to an extraordinary coach, George Neos, who served as principal of the high school for many years. Not only was Neos a Dartmouth football champion, he was well on his way to becoming a college coach. God interrupted his career launch and brought him to the Lighthouse Christian Academy of Santa Monica, California. Neos came to teach football and for a certain pair of brown eyes.

The hulking coach had a knack for seeing every milligram of potential in a player. He coached nuances to perfection so that kids produced stellar output. Neos never saw a kid as chubby, lazy, or out of shape. He saw what a kid could become, and he worked relentlessly towards that goal.

Tex Hagoski on this year's team.

Tex Hagoski on this year’s team.

When God looks at you, he doesn’t see your flops and your flabbiness. He sees your future fabulousness. God sees a finished product. And He’s willing to work with all your failures and flailings to machine out the ideal Christian leader.

If you are a Christian leader, you can’t get stuck in the present. You’ve got to see ahead, what can become of the sheep God has brought under your care. Prayer is believing in the future and striving for it.

Bliss point

Super yummy, super bad for you. Pic thanks to Cloud Lounge

Super yummy, super bad for you. Pic thanks to Cloud Lounge

In fitness, enthusiasts work towards the release of endorphins. In the junk food industry, processors add the perfect amount of sugar — called technically “bliss” point — to dazzle your taste buds and addict you like cocaine.

Hahaha. What a great joke pic!

Hahaha. What a great joke pic!

It’s your choice of pleasure — the easy, fattening road or the hard-work and sweat road that helps you live longer.

Such is Christianity. You either go for easy gratification that ultimately destroys your soul. Or you pray, read your Bible, resolve people issues and continue in church — and you get soul healthiness that is emotionally sensational!

As I browse blogs, I see so many that hover around the

Watch out! What you eat can imprison you!

metaphorical pillars of processed foods: sugar, salt and food. They rave about stuff that’s toxic to your heart. A few blogs take the high road and promote happiness through spiritual exercise.

What I talk about here is praying, praying more and experiencing the thrill of answered prayers. . If you’ve never felt this exhiliration, you’ve got to try it. But think of it like the gym. If you do just a little, the results may be a bit short. If you pour yourself into it, the results are — well, ripped.

Never, never, never, never give up

On dirt fields, he taught me. He was patient, hard-working, demanding, tireless. He almost always won, often coming from behind.

On dirt fields, he taught me. He was patient, hard-working, demanding, tireless. He almost always won, often coming from behind.

Like he fought on the field, so in the church. Mario always invited youths to know God.

Like he fought on the field, so in the church. Mario always invited youths to know God.

No matter how many goals he goes down, Mario Ajcip never despairs. The Guatemalan patiently works to improve his team and to remount the score and win. Sometimes he yells at his teammates, demanding output.

Since learning to play from him some 10 years imagesago, I now know that his is an extraordinary characteristic. I have played, coached and watched teams that become despondent and give up. If they go down two goals, they anguish and pray for the final whistle to hurry so they can scurry off the field of humiliation. Soccer is low scoring, so when you’re down a few, commentators say it’s over.

Well, I learned from Mario. It’s never over!

I don’t care what troubles your facing now (economical, marital, prodigal), it ain’t over till you’re dead. SOOOOO, keep fighting. Keep kicking that ball, connect passes, set up goals, defend667 staunchly. Don’t just retreat into your half and try to limit goals against, run the counter-attack! And yell at yourself for having a give-up attitude.

The title of the blog, of course, comes from Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who inspired Britain to stand alone against the monolithic Axis Powers in World War II, when France and all other resistance had been crushed. We have need to remember his motto today. Keep believing, keep working, keep praying.

Conquering love

51650726947092386_kcArEKgF_bHe who loves much, gives much. Christianity has always spread by love. There have been times when people who call themselves Christians have taken up arms in the name of the Savior, but that is NOT Christianity. They lied.

Christianity advances by love, not by military conquest. Love conquers all. It is our martyrs who laid down their lives with no resistance who have made Christianity explode around the globe. It is our prayer warriors, who sacrifice hours of playing time to pray, who fff07746-cd01-45cd-b046-193d016ba9a7have stoked revival fire. Care enough, love enough, to pray today.

Rightly, billiescauldron points out this glaring flaw in my last post, Remote Warfare. I was demonstrating similarities between pray-ers and pilots who remotely fly drones to hit targets from far away. You can pray for Iran and blow up the devil. But the analogy breaks down over the basis of Christianity: love. Thanks, Billie!

In your walk with Christ, don't leave love behind.

In your walk with Christ, don’t leave love behind.

You are saved because of God’s love. He sent His Son. As a Christian, you must strive to conform to His image. Love others enough to take time to pray for them.

When you pray for finances in your ministry, let love be the principal basis for prayer. If your ministry grows, more people will be established in Christ.

His biggest blunder

Don't get out of the path.

Don’t get out of the path.

Without a doubt, Abraham blew it when he tried to “help” God. After not seeing the promise of God fulfilled for more than a decade, Abraham slept with Hagar, his wife’s maidservant, to have the descendant through her.

Oops. Talk about a doozy. Now we can’t have peace in the Middle East as a result. The baby, Ishmael, grew up to fight and cause trouble to the true promised child, Isaac. His 1360711691731572240590805063076419_wYkaoZMI_b descendants, the Arabs, want to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. If only Abraham and Sarah would have had patience…

Herein lies a great lesson for prayer. Hang in there believing for the miracle, and don’t try to “force” the hand of God with an easy, half-baked “answer.” Continue contending for His best, not your compromise.

You can serve God half way, but you won’t get 71494712804052847_GCszxYOs_bcomplete blessing. In all, Abraham and Sarah had to wait 25 years (give or take a few) to see their child born. Abraham was 100, and Sarah, 90. God was faithful. If they hadn’t fallen into desperation, the world would be a better place today. Your world will be a better place, if you don’t get frantic for the answer.

Lady Gaga on prayer

e5c47583db72996e274d8abb6f1498f9It used to be that if a rock star wanted publicity, she’d send a press release to the news media, and these self-constituted arbiters of newsworthiness determined if it should be ignored or published. No longer.

Lady Gaga has 34 million followers on Twitter, the Los Angeles Times a mere 54,000. So Miss Gaga goes straight to the source, the public, without having to worry about trying to impress the intermediary

You too. Go straight to the Source, God

I like attention-getting pics, but this one is not as random as you might think, since it speaks of communication and Jesus. Hahaha!

I like attention-getting pics, but this one is not as random as you might think, since it speaks of communication and Jesus. Hahaha!

Himself, without worrying about intermediaries. Jesus taught us to pray to God: “Our Father, who art in Heaven…” It’s good to get a pastor and friends involved in your prayer need, but don’t think for a minute that religious hierarchy authorizes access.

In fact, God’s twiddling His thumbs waiting for you to talk to Him. In Guatemalan Spanish, “twiddling His thumbs” would be translated “scratching His belly button.” God is probably even scratching His belly button, waiting, waiting, waiting.

Go straight to God. Pray. It’s the best.

It’s the same God

from soumyav

from soumyav

ATT002059Commander Joshua receives his marching orders from God: As I was with Moses, so I will be with you — Josh 1:5 NIV. You’ll have no less success, God says, because I’ll be with you in no less measure.

ATT0022014That promise is for us, New Testament habitation of the Holy Spirit. God is with us. Our lives testify to the same outpouring as the Biblical heroes, the same kinds of miracles. It’s an error to think “that was then, and this is 231442868319859281_Q75q97eD_bnow.” The book of Acts does not end with the word “amen,” unlike most other New Testament books; this signifies that the “acts” of the Holy Spirit continue in and through us.

God offers no less for us than for them. Our only limitation is our own lack of faith. He responds to faith and is shocked by lack of faith. When you pray — whether it be for health, deliverance or finances — realize He is with you in the same way He was with Moses and Joshua.

God loves the unfavored

churroThis fact makes the case for prayer. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing –– Deut.10:18 NIV. Not many people study the verses of “widow.” To do so blows your mind.

From Exodus to Revelations, God repeatedly and pointedly favors the disenfranchised, the proletariat, the 99%, the unpopular, the underdogs. Forget about smoking pot; it’s not as much a sin as mistreating (or not helping) the widow, orphan, foreigner, poor — the quartet that encapsulates what we now call “powerlessness.”

from DumpaDay

from DumpaDay

Often, we go to prayer after other options have failed. We are powerless. Outside of divine intervention, things look bleak.

The fabulously fantastic news is God LOVES people who are desperate, broken, without resources. His heart goes out to them.

This should flood your heart with faith. When you cry tears before the Lord, He is there crying with you. Given this unmeasurable empathy, you can be sure He will answer.

I ‘kneeded’ this

Those Tweener prayer warriors.

Those Tweener prayer warriors.

I'm no match for Rob, in blue, freshman on a varsity team.

I’m no match for Rob, in blue, freshman on a varsity team.

Two months ago I konked my knee playing street soccer with my varsity team. At the time, it didn’t seem abnormal, not too bad on pain. I even kept playing. Later, however, it had a clicking that worried me. I consulted a doctor, and he feared a torn piece of cartilage was lodged in there. After two months, it wasn’t much better.

from pinterest

from pinterest

Then I got prayed for. The boys in my Sunday School class — called “Tweeners” — had just heard about faith and were pumped to pray. I am back to playing soccer! Jesus healed me! (Being able to play soccer is about as important for me as a U.S. president attending his own inauguration!)

The Bible says that kids have special words — of praise — unadulterated because of their

from pinterest

from pinterest

sincerity and innocence. And I say it’s good to be in God’s service, not matter how small or insignificant. Today I scored a goal in beach soccer against my son’s team! Ha! And at the end, we won! Ha!

As soon as the pros hear about this, I expect they’ll be heading to their local, Bible-believing church to cut their injury time.

Space invaders

turquoise-turbulence-bruarfoss-fludir-icelandA smirky non-Christian remarked that praying for money seemed at odds with the gospels. If you’re only greedy, I tend to agree. But when you are desperately trying to make rent for your church building, it’s spot on.

After being chased off by hostile Philistines, Isaac and crew find a place Rehoboth, which means “spacious place.” (Gen. 26:22)

wide_open_2_900If you’re having troubles, keep moving forward because God is going to bring you to a spacious place. After months (or years) of struggling to make ends meet, God promises to bring you to a spaciousness in your monthly budget. Hallelujah! Victory over the bills!

186266134558462105_VS4BPBFJ_cIn Guatemala, we worked 15 hour days during Easter Week hawking food to the crowds in the “processions,” marches which escort Catholic statues through the streets. At the end of ardor, we would count up to $300, just a fraction of our mortgage.

Do your best, and God will provide the rest,  I taught. So we labored. And we prayed. And month after month, God miraculously brought in the mortgage money.

Maybe you can relate to Isaac. Look for your Rehoboth. Long and pray for spaciousness.

Impact God

Aphrodite doted on Paris for his beauty. Zeus loved Hector for his courage. God is a glaring contrast to the chaos of the Greek pantheon. When He declares Himself “holy,” He is saying He is different. “I am NOT similar to false gods.”

So what does God like? He likes FAITH. From Abraham to Daniel, He gets excited about people who believe Him. The problem with the Israelites in the desert was NOT their whining so much as their lack of faith.

You won’t hardly find Jesus marveling over someone’s personal uprightness. Nor their “sound interpretation of scripture.” Nor their “acts of righteousness.” Over and over, Jesus admires just one thing: faith.

When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. — Matt. 8:10 NIV.

Publicists teach how in marketing to impact. But what impacts God? Stand-out faith. He is drawn to it. He searches for it. He responds to it. He gets disgusted when He can’t find it.

In the verse above, a Roman gentile — despised by the Jews — garners the open admiration of the Jews’ Jew, Jesus. The gentile — supposedly an outsider to the business of God — earns higher marks than the insider, simply because of faith.

It’s easy to NOT believe. When you pray for finances for your ministry, stir yourself to stand-out faith.

Turn brown to green

The Israelites were experienced with deserts. For forty years, they tramped to and fro until their bodies lay scattered across the Sinai wasteland. Elijah and John the Baptists headquartered their ministries in the desert. Some people actually think brown is beautiful.

But the rest of us are enchanted with lush paradise, a pine-covered mountain cut by a waterfall, a Hawaii island with rich volcanic soil great for growing pineapples. God promises to turn brown into green.

He will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD
— Isa. 51:3 NIV.

Jehovah Jireh promises to turn the unproductive land into a championship garden. If your ministry is going through a financial desert, God makes the waters flow. He fertilizes and transform sand into loam.

Where sand swirls in dirt devils today, a gurgling rush of water will empty into a pool ringed by greenery. Pray and believe towards that end.

Leftovers!

You’ll like these leftovers! They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over — Luke 9:17 NIV.

The most overlooked detail is the leftovers. Five thousand men were fed with only five loaves and two fish. But don’t miss the detail that they wound up with more at the end of the meal than what they started with. In mathematics: 12 baskets > 5 loaves + 2 fish.

That’s God’s provision — more than enough. He gives you for the journey afterward. We marvel at the 5,000 fed; we tend to miss to cache of grub to be stored away in the refrigerator.

When you pray for finances today for your ministry, pray for enough for your needs and then some leftovers for future needs! That’s the kind of God we serve!

Believe a little more

Release your faith!

This is the only human part.

If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us, says the father of a boy tormented by a demon.

‘If you can’? replies Jesus. Everything is possible for him who believes.

To this light rebuke for lack of faith, the father quickly and wisely reacts: I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief! Mark 9:22-24 (NIV and paraphrase).

Pursue faith

The man is teetering on the brink of success or failure, healing or continued sickness. The great challenge for him — his only participation in the arrangement since God is going to do all the rest — is to believe just a little bit more.

We have little to do as Christians. We do nothing but accept Jesus to be saved; we don’t earn it by good works. We do nothing but pray to receive miracles. We don’t earn them.

Just a drop more of faith

Virtually our only effort is to muster faith, to stir ourselves up to belief, to convince ourselves that God’s word is right and our reality is wrong. More faith.

This is the only human part. Because the other part — the actual performing of the miracle — that’s God part. Can I believe just a little bit more today?

Not big nor difficult

For God, it’s…

Whether big or small, any miracle is equally easy for God. Just because your petition is “big” or “difficult” doesn’t mean it is any harder for God. Since he is all powerful, nothing is beyond His capabilities.

The reason why “small” miracles seem “easier” is a matter of us — not God. WE believe because it is small. We DON’T believe because it is “big.” But the size of the miracle is irrelevant to Supreme Power.

Let’s move some mountains!

Therefore I tell you, WHATEVER you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours — Mark 11:24 NIV (caps mine). Not every saying of Jesus appears in all the Gospels, but this one features throughout — and it even gets repeated in some of the Gospels. It’s as if God really wanted to underline the truth that WHATEVER or ANYTHING is possible for Him.

So today, pray and believe.

‘Perhaps today’

No two words hold more inspiration. They hang inside the prayer room at my church. Laconic but powerful: At any point, the answer will come, maybe even today.

If you knew that your long-awaited-for request were to be answered today, how earnestly, joyfully, expectantly would you pray? Do it.

Even if the answer DOESN’T come today, if you pray like it will, it MAY come today. “Perhaps today” fires up faith, and faith moves God.

If there have been tomes written on faith, this is faith’s haiku: Perhaps today. No more need be said.

As fast as a speeding train

The railroad company built a shield out the back of the car to lengthen the slipstream.

Charles Murphy became  the first man to ride a mile in a minute on a bicycle in 1899. He did so by laying wood planks between rails on Long Island and riding in the slipstream behind a speeding train. He proved his boast: the greatest limitation for the cyclist was not athleticism but wind resistance.

On the carpet of wooden planks laid for the event

Having completed the feat, Murphy was clasped and dragged from his still-moving bike into the back of the racing train. “I lay motionless, face down, on the platform. I was all in. I was half-carried to a cot at the end of the car; the roar of the train was challenged by hysterical yells. Grown men hugged and kissed each other. One man fainted and another went into hysterics, while I remained speechless on my back, ashen in colour and sore all over.”

It was a grand moment for cycling. Also, it was heyday for physics. By defeating wind drag, the cyclist could go faster and faster and faster.

Here’s a metaphor: prayer eliminates barriers, resistance, drag and other natural and human constraints on the man of God. The more you pray, the faster your ministry goes. It took Murphy and the Long Island Railroad a while to set up optimal conditions for the exposition record-breaking ride. But once they did, glory was won in less than 60 seconds. You may need time to set up “optimal conditions” in prayer that will flash in revival quickly.

Squatters and invaders

The Guatemalan poor have no land, so they gather a mob and all move in at once onto unoccupied land. These squatters are called “invaders,” and their removal from private property frequently leads to blood-shedding. They cling desperately to a place they wish to call home without having any right to be there.

This is a Biblical comparison, not a political commentary. Demons are invaders. They have no right, but they simply move in, through sin, and occupy the human heart and mind. They must be opposed and evicted with force. They cling desperately to the spot they have laid claim to.

When you pray, it is no grandmotherly knitting. It is doing violence to the kingdom of Hell. It is demanding they obey the rightful law of God, forcing them to submit to God’s superiority. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. — Matt. 11:12 KJV.

A tale of two brothers

Adolf and Rudolf Dassler inherited shoe-making from their dad, but they didn’t inherit love for each other. Adolf broke off their partnership and founded Addidas, while Rudolf founded Puma — both in the same German town of Herzogenaurach.

A rare photo where both brothers, left and middle, appear together

Their intense sibling rivalry led to unprecedented shoe wars waged through stepped-up bidding battles for the hottest athletes. In an attempt to stave off the spiraling sponsorship costs, both made a pact to not pursue Brazilian soccer genius Pele.

Pele led the Brazilians to World Cup glory in 1970

But Rudolf betrayed it. He paid $120,000 for Pele in the 1970 World Cup to ask the ref to not whistle the beginning so that he could tie his shoes. As worldwide television looked on at the cause of the delay, Puma won a publicity coup without parallel.

His brother never forgave him. The two are even buried in the farthest opposing extremities of the town cemetery.

Can’t we get along??? Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven — Matt. 18:19 NIV. We ought to get along at least enough to pray together.

The Dassler brothers only tamed their family war with the appearance of Nike, which blindsided them and stole huge shares of the athletics market. Only when the devil shows up, will we get along?

When you reap what you didn’t sow

Money is a problem for us, not for God. We quote to our kids that money doesn’t grow on trees or appear out of thin air. But for God it does. He can make money appear from nowhere.

I harvest crops I didn’t plant and gather crops I didn’t cultivate. — Matt. 25:26. Many know God as the “God of the Harvest.” But do you know that He is also the “God of the Harvest that He did not Cultivate” and the “God of the Harvest You did not Cultivate.”

He can bring a windfall at any time — usually just in time (it always seems late). The word “windfall” is derived from the Middle Ages, when peasants were forbidden to chop wood for cooking. When a wind whipped up, it often blew down the necessary firewood. It was called a “windfall.”

God’s Wind, his Holy Spirit, will blow finances your way. Just pray. God’s harvest of unknown origins will be reaped into your barn. Just pray. Don’t chafe under the mounting bills. Trust and keep working for souls.

Dagon’s down

Crisis reigns in Israel. Not only have they lost the Philistine war, the ark of the covenant, Israel’s one great treasure, has been captured. Now, it lies deep within enemy territory, in their temple, a tribute to their god, a mockery to the one true God. True believers are in disgrace.

A depiction of Dagon

But when there is absolutely no hope, God’s not panicked. Instead, He uses the hopelessness to glorify Himself. The first night His holy ark is in a pagan temple, he makes the idol Dagon bow before it.

When the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the LORD! They took Dagon and put him back in his place. — 1 Sam. 5:3 NIV. The Philistines don’t get. They think it’s a fluke.

A replica of the ark

But the following morning when they rose, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the LORD! His head and hands had been broken off and were lying on the threshold; only his body remained. — 1 Sam. 5:4 NIV.

Things are about to get worse, and the Philistines grow terrified. The message is clear: You don’t make a trophy of the one true God to honor false gods. That is what the Philistines learn.

They sent it back on a cart pulled by cattle, who with no guiding, took it straight back to Israel.

The Israelites learn that God can act alone, without any human intervention. At the end of the story, the Philistines send the ark back to Israel voluntarily. There is no military raid to recover it. No high-level diplomatic negotiations. No agreement to exchange war prisoners. To the Israelite perspective, it is starkly an Act of God.

Maybe you need an Act of God for your desperate circumstances today. Instead of wringing your hands, fold them in prayer. Instead of anxiety, let quiet trust reign in your heart.

God doesn’t need you. He needs only your prayers.

Unlocking Heaven’s riches

How to unlock the unlimited riches of Heaven for my ministry? Theologically, it is simply a matter of asking. But then there are other factors: perseverance, attitude, seeking God. To get it all right can feel like picking a safe.

By no means are we stealing from God. But sometimes our immaturity gets in the way. Sometimes, selfishness, wrong motives, capriciousness, unforgiveness and an evil host of other reasons block that instant answer we desperately want. Some people seem to get answers easier than others, some get more money than others. It’s as if they know the combination to the safe.

I don’t aim to explain — or even know — all the answers here. I shoot only to encourage. Continue praying. Strive to line up all your attitudes and motives with the Word of God. Persist day after day. These are correct.

The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. — Rom. 8:27 NIV.

Yes! We are weak! Sometimes, we don’t know how to pray!

In this verse, pentecostal commentators see the groanings as “tongues.” Others say they are just groanings. Whatever the case, you ought to practice your interpretation. What is clear is that we do not always know how to pray, and the Spirit is there to help us.

In other words, God wants us to get to the answer even more than we do (though it may not seem like it!). So get the Holy Spirit to help you. If you’re going to “make off” with Heaven’s wealth, you’re going to have to find the right combination!

Prayer is rest

Let us LABOUR therefore to enter into that REST –– Heb. 4:11 KJV (caps mine). On the surface, this verse contradicts itself. On the one hand, there is labor (note the English spelling); on the other, rest. Instead of “labor,” the NIV says “make every effort” and the English Standard Version, “strive.”

Rest is no small theme in the Book of Hebrews. It receives more than an incidental mention. The author compares the Old Testament Sabbath rest to Christianity, in that we are no longer doing “works” toward salvation (i.e. no circumcision, no sacrifices). As Christians, we “rest” in salvation because we just receive it by believing. But he warns us against lack of belief, because in the desert some failed to enter the rest of the Promised Land.

Prayer is not worry. It is not labor. It is ceasing from labors and allowing God to do the labor. It is ceasing from worry and purposely deciding to live by faith. A diagram might be more exact: we have worry –> so we pray –> as faith fills us in prayer, we rest with quiet confidence that God will do what we cannot. No longer feverishly agitated, we calmly go about our daily labors, trusting that God will bring the breakthrough we cannot order ourselves through our own cleverness or hard work.

It is easy to fall back into worry. That is why we must constantly oblige our nervous minds to return to faith — and thus rest — in the Lord. So prayer is rest, but not laziness. Being unconcerned about life is not what I’m talking about either.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. — 1 Pet. 5:7 NIV.

Powerlessness

I used to dismiss the notion of powerlessness. I had heard it in terms of sociologists who described people trapped by poverty. They’re just making excuses, I snorted.

Then, I grappled with powerlessness myself. When I was a missionary, an extortionist falsely accused me of a crime. I was the victim, but I feared the corrupt justice system coupled with anti-gringo sentiment would conspire to send me to the hellhole of jail in Guatemala. I fasted five days a week. I went to bed thinking about jail and woke up thinking about jail. I was gripped by the claws of  powerlessness.

At the end, God vindicated the innocent. I learned to trust Him even in the ugliest of scenarios. And I no longer scoffed at powerlessness. It is a huge and terrifying force.

When you’re facing cancer, you can feel powerless. When the recession closes all doors to you. With your prodigal child. With your unfaithful spouse. Addiction can render you powerless to stop abusing drugs. A hurricane is coming, and you can’t stop it or escape. You cannot take control of your future. There is nothing you can do. It is out of your hands. Anyone can belittle your struggle, but only you face these demons alone.

Being powerless is good. It throws you on God entirely. It arouses faith like nothing else. Your moment of powerlessness will be hellish anguish. But it will also be sweetest fellowship with the Lord. (Praise and worship was my only relief from my living nightmare!)

When you are powerless, He remains powerful.

Heights of slavery

Nothing else matters. It doesn’t matter your educational level, the economic level of your city, how supportive your spouse is, what side of the railroads tracks your on, or even what color of pajamas you wear at sleepy time. God can prosper you irregardless.

The LORD was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master — Gen. 39:2 NIV. Joseph prospered in SLAVERY. (I doubt your circumstances are so bad.) The key was God, not all the accouterments that we commonly attribute to success.

Since God is no respecter of persons, anyone can have Him. You just need knees. In other words, bend your knee to cry out to God in prayer. God can prosper you anywhere, anytime, anyhow, anyway, any whatever. If it hasn’t happened yet, just keep praying. It will.

If a slave could fly high, so can you! God can bring lushness to the most unlikely of places!

Sowing and reaping

 

Nothing good will come from prayerlessness. But prayerfulness cannot fail but bring only good. The reason? The law of sowing and reaping.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. —
Gal. 6:7 NIV.

Most often, this verse is applied negatively, that is, as a warning against sin. You will accrue some bad consequences, a curse, if you persist in willful sin. But the positive applies too. If you practice Bible study, church attendance, etc., then you cannot fail to attain blessings.

If you sow prayers, then you WILL UNFAILINGLY reap answers.

Don’t give up prematurely on farming. It takes work, time, care. It wouldn’t be wise to walk away from the crop before it grows to maturity. A harvest on an actual farm has its established growth period (months for quick-turn-around crops, years in the case of some fruit trees). But we don’t know the maturation date of most of our prayer requests; only God knows that. So hang in there and don’t abandon the harvest! Keep praying!

 

Living in Lotus Land

Odysseus‘ sailors landed on a Mediterranean island whose inhabitants feasted on the lotus fruit that was immediately addictive. Whoever savored its flavor, fell into a peaceful narcotic bliss, lay down by the ocean, and wanted nothing more than to consume lotus and forget family, future and fortune.

When I lived in Guatemala, we ate beans, rice, eggs and tortillas most of the time. Once a month, we ate meat. We had one car and worried about when we could afford new shoes. With this poverty, we lived on the edge — and that edge reflected itself in ministry on the edge, prayer on the edge. God moved powerfully.

Then we were forced to come back to Lotusland, I mean, the USA. And I have tasted the fruit of its  luxury. Definitely, our standard of life is higher (even though we live currently at the poverty level!!!) At the same time, I can note that my standard of prayer has dropped. I pray, but with not the same intensity. The edge is gone.

I wonder if America’s Lotus life, whose effect I can perceive in myself, dilutes the prayers of other Christians  as well. I wonder if the work of God is hindered by our lackadaisical praying.

Writing this blog has been harder than any other so far. They all brim optimism. This one feels like a confession. Before I struggled with prosperity; now, I struggle with prosperity. Can these musing stirs us to recapture the flame?

After some of his sailors ate the fruit and fell under its spell, Odysseus stripped them away with force and tied them to their benches until they could sail far enough away and his men returned to their senses. What will it take for us to pray passionately?

Football helmets of salvation

 

Rob’s team’s football helmets just arrived. They cost $200 each. One special helmet, for a high school student injured last year, cost $1,000. That’s a lot of money for sports equipment. Then again, when it comes to your head, you don’t want to tight-wad. A head injury, almost more than any other part of the body, can cause death, so maximum protection is imperative.

Ephesians exhorts us to protect our spiritual cranium. Put on… the helmet of salvation. — Eph. 6:13,17 (entire verses are not cited). I understand that when we are “born again,” we cannot be “unborn,” to follow Jesus’ metaphor. So I don’t think salvation is like a light switch that you turn on and off depending on your behavior. However, this scripture certainly gives us the idea that you need to “put on your salvation” daily. Undeniably, there is a daily element of renewing relationship with Jesus Christ, and that is salvation.

I don’t mean to settle or even get into a centuries-long debate about salvation here. I only mean to inspire Christians to the daily act of prayer — preferably in the morning — as part of protecting your relationship with Jesus. It’s worth the investment to protect your head: make time to pray.

Solomon gets rich

Young King Solomon asked for wisdom — in order to benefit the people, not himself. This so pleased God that He granted Solomon riches and long life also — for himself.

Solomon made golden angels inside the temple

Here’s an outlandish key: pray for others more than for yourself. When God sees your heart, He’ll give even what you haven’t asked for.

So God replied, “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies—I will give you what you asked for!… And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life! — 1 Kings 3:11-13 (New Living Translation).

Solomon’s palace was a marvel of luxury

The whole nation prospered so much that silver was considered of little value in Solomon’s days. — 1 Kings 10:21 NIV.

Anybody would like such prosperity! But not just anybody understands the Great Paradox! Solomon got what he didn’t seek. He sought the good for others, and God gave him good. Make sure your prayer life is sufficiently others-oriented. Cut down on “me, me, me” because it may be the reason why “you, you, you” are not receiving from God.

Don’t just survive, thrive!

 

What’s your problem? Paul was in jail. He sang songs. He wrote letters. He grew in God. It didn’t seem to bother him a bit. His outward circumstances were irrelevant. We have a significant portion of the New Testament because he went to jail.

Marco Polo too. If he hadn’t been imprisoned by rivals Genoese, he probably would not have written about his travels to China. This, in turn, opened up trade, interchange of goods, discoveries of paper, noodles and gun powder to Europe.

Maybe God has brought you to bad circumstances for a later good purpose. Don’t mope. Enjoy, burst with optimism, bound out of the gate, the world is yours! Your current challenges are tomorrow’s triumphs! The desert precedes the Promised Land! If you pass the test, you pass the course. God has not brought failures upon you except to bring later successes. So in your struggles today, pray and look up.

 

Sowing doubt

“Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ that exists in the mind of the public.” — a memo from a tobacco executive in 1969, outlining the smoking industry’s marketing strategy to suppress the then-growing body of evidence linking smoking to cancer.

They generated attack after attack to put in doubt what the studies increasingly found. If they didn’t sow doubt, they would lose clients.

Similarly, the devil’s main product is doubt. He will launch attack after attack against your faith. His goal? To keep his clients. To keep you out of prayer. To keep you discouraged. Don’t fall prey to him. Pray with faith.

* Adapted from Goldacre, Ben, Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks. Faber & Faber: New York, 2010. p. 109

Don’t miss the miracle

Literally tens of thousands of Israelite soldiers missed this. Saul and his 600 men rushed out to the battle and found the Philistines killing each other — 1 Sam. 14:20 (Living Bible). Jonathan had sparked panic and confusion on the enemy with only his armor bearer.

And the rest of the 300,000 soldiers (see 1 Sam. 11:8-9)? They were hiding in caves, wells, bushes and even running across borders into foreign countries. They missed witnessing God’s sovereign and wondrous move!

In ministry, there’s definitely a need to hang in there. When war clangor strikes fear in a normal man’s heart, you must remain stout, unmoved, waiting patiently on God. The guys who run, miss out. Pray and remain. In fact, the key to winning is just staying when God is involved. The only ones who lose are those who quit.

Fury from Heaven

When a tornado touches down on terra, it’s power is microbial compared to the fury from Heaven when you simply pray.

From panic to FUN!

If you have ever spearheaded a major undertaking in a church, you have felt panic. It hits you at some point, probably close to the stage call, when it occurs to you that everything, instead of coming together, is falling apart. You fear being disgraced, being a laughingstock.

I just mounted a July 4 parade for our church, with a marching band, choreographed elements with Chinese ribbons, and even a flying bald eagle in the style of the Chinese dragon run by four men. More than once, I experienced the sinking feeling.

But on Independence Day, God was faithful, as He always is, to make it a success. We had a blast! There is nothing better than serving God.

So don’t panic. Trust, pray, do big things for God. Don’t make serving God boring by scaling back your vision and just staying with what is familiar and “safe.” Dream big and dare to carry it out.

Thank God for the problems

All the miracles in Bible have one thing in common. They first were problems.

Big, small, horrible, terrifying – all kinds of problems led to all kinds of miracles. The bigger the problem, the bigger the miracle. The worse the problem, the better the miracle. The more desperate the problem, the more glorious the miracle.

Are you going through tough financial stuff? Start by praising God for the shortage. That is faith. Praise Him for the problem because a BIG miracle is coming. Today you are anguished, tomorrow you will laugh with joy. Start laughing today, rejoicing in what God will do tomorrow.

You can’t see how God will answer. If you could it wouldn’t require faith. And the people of the Bible couldn’t foresee answers either.

10,000 % increase

Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a HUNDREDFOLD, because the Lord blessed him. — Gen. 26:12 NIV (capitals mine). The prospect of this verse thrills the heart. You can a hundredfold increase, if and when, God moves.

Make no mistake with the math. That is NOT a 100% increase. A 100% increase is a “twofold” increase. No a “hundredfold” increase is 10,000% boon. TEN THOUSAND PERCENT.

Wow! That’s a lot. For every seed, Isaac planted, 100 grains grew. Normally more than one grain grows per seed — but not a hundredfold. This is the moment that Isaac got rich. The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy Gen. 26:13.

Let me make the following observations. This multiplication didn’t happen every time Isaac planted. He spent many years planting and reaping a regular harvest. But he kept at it, kept believing, and one day without warning, God super-blessed him. It was a sovereign miracle of God.

Which leads us to the following conclusions: God can bless you sovereignly at any surprising moment. Maybe you have been slogging along, faithfully serving the Lord for years (like Isaac), and when you least expect, He’ll drop a blessing bomb — and you’ll be sleeping in the cash. You’ll be preaching to the multitudes.

So today pray for a hundredfold multiplication. Look for it expectantly. Persevere until you receive it. Never stop believing.

From struggling to stubborn faith

The disciples tried but could not dislodge the demon. The epileptic’s father is unsure if Jesus, who just descended the mount, will be able where others failed. Wavering, he addresses the Lord: “IF you can do anything…”

This struggling faith does not sit particularly well with Jesus, who chides him. The man quickly realizes his mistake and musters faith: “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” — Mark 9:24 NIV.

Struggling faith always comes up short. Stubborn faith is an unmoved confidence that God will perform His promises. Struggling faith is somewhat convinced that God MAY do something. Stubborn faith “is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” — Heb. 11:1 NIV.

Struggling faith almost never gets a miracle. Stubborn faith impresses God so much that He is pleased: “Great is your faith!”

Most of us struggle to have more faith. We need the same sincerity of this man: I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief! Trying is doing, putting effort is achieving. Jesus was pleased with this man’s attempt to shore up his struggling faith.

Sabotage on faith

The devil is constantly sabotaging your faith. In war, sabotage means attacking infrastructure to disrupt and derail normal operations. Industries are blown up. Communication lines are cut. Transport is bombed. Satan’s constant barrage on your mind and life will kill your faith — if you let it.

Such is the story of Elymas. Paul testified to Sergius Paulus, a proconsul on Paphos Island. But his counselor resisted the evangelization. Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. — Acts 13:8. Paul rebuked the sorcerer, and God blinded him. Subsequently, Sergius Paulus believed.

Elymas is alive and well today. He circles like a tiger looking for the opportunity to strike and slay your faith.

What is surprising in verse 6. There we see this witch masqueraded under the name “Bar-Jesus,” which means “Son of Jesus.” It is possible he had heard about Jesus’ powers and used this name to bloat his reputation. But in truth, he was a Satanist.

What does this mean for us today? It means that some of the very people who call themselves Christians will be those who undermine your faith. Make your faith grow in the Word and in prayer. And be careful about advice given that sabotages faith.

From behind the wall

Anne Frank hid with her family in Nazi-occupied Netherlands for two years. She wrote a diary which has resonated worldwide since publication after her death in a concentration camp. It’s impressive to see how a world can be impacted from seclusion.

Anne Frank’s story is one of optimism. It is one of inauspicious work changing a world. Did she realize the greatness of what she was doing? Did she realize the extent of her reach?

The parallels with a prayer warrior are noteworthy. Your labors go unnoticed but impact the entire world. Prayer requires optimism. You may not realize the extent of your reach.

Pray, pray, pray. Prayer is never a waste of time. Doing other things may be a waste of time. It’s ironic that we try to do so much. If we would only pray, God would do so much. He is able to do much! We are incapable of doing much. Much of our best efforts are frustrated. It might be good for you to DO less and PRAY more.

When I was a missionary in Guatemala, after years of running myself ragged in activities, I put the brakes on. Tired, I tried prayer. Not that I wasn’t praying before, but I started praying more. More time, higher quality, greater intensity, in prayer. Get behind the wall, where the real work will be done.

Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. — Psm 127:1 NIV

Surprise!

I make plans for God. I pray for Him to do what I want, when I want. Then He does something totally different, and it’s always much better. It’s a miracle that I could not imagine. This pattern is Biblical: No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him — 1 Cor. 2:9 NIV

Go ahead and pray for the good things you want. But be prepared to wait for His timing. Be prepared for His answer, which may be very different — and inevitably better — than what you hoped for. We are praying to a God who surprises us. He pulls the most amazing things out of His hat.

Surprise me today, God. I bring before you my desperate needs. Don’t give me the answer I want. Give me the surprise You have for me. God´s surprise makes being a Christian a lot of fun! I imagine God our Father being very much like a loving earthly father, who is thrilled to see his son/daughter delighted by a surprise gift.

Apparent no

He was told to shut up. He clamored all the more. She was told she was dog. She asked for a crumb off the table.

What do you do when God appears to say no? Bartimaeus kept asking. In fact, he yelled all the louder (Mark 10:48). The Canaanite woman didn’t get mad. She said, “Yes, but…” Jesus tested her strongly. First he didn’t even talk to her. Then He mistreated her. She kept insisting. Even the “dogs” get crumbs off their masters’ tables.  This impressed Jesus. Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted,” he said (Mat 15:28).

It’s hard to know when “no” is truly and definitively “no” from God. So if what you are asking for doesn’t contradict the Word of God, keep asking and patiently believing. You could ask for something that God won’t give you. But the other extreme is worse: you could lose heart and faith and stop believing.

The few, the proud, the Christians

Prayer changes things

When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan. — Gen. 14:14

With a measly 318 soldiers, Abram vanquished a vast army comprised of five separate armies. Abram was Hercules before the Greeks wrote. He was Rambo before Hollywood invented him. He was a superhero, a true warrior. He confronted impossible odds and triumphed.

This story has got to leave you tingling with faith. Whatever the size of your ministry, you can make unthinkable impact!

Don´t measure yourself as the world does — stats, dollars, attendance, hits. The ONLY measure that counts is the faith in your heart. And you can always INCREASE your faith when you bend your knees. The war is not won with superior numbers, it is won with superior prayers.

So I guess what I said about Abram — the invincible — was simply not true. It was not his fierceness nor his dexterity in battle that won the day. It was his relationship with God. And whatever Abram did, we can do, because we have the same God.

Too much?

Prophet Nathan rebukes David for adultery with...

Image via Wikipedia

And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. — 2 Sam. 12:8 NIV

Honestly, I would NOT have expected God to say this. The Lord is enumerating the many blessings He gave to King David, including many wives. Why, He says through the prophet Nathan, did David take another man’s wife? David got Bathsheba pregnant and then arranged for the death of Bathsheba’s husband so that he could keep her.

Honestly, I would have expected God to be severe. But God is not overly severe with David. He makes room for grace. And what He says to David means blessings for you and me. I WOULD HAVE GIVEN YOU MORE.

If only you would ask. If only you would go through legitimate channels. If only you would believe. God does not reproach us for requesting more. He doesn’t scold us to be grateful for what we have already. He freely offers MORE, if only we would ask in prayer.

The devil aims to discourage you. Mr. Red Suit bombards you with a continual rant of “stop asking for more.”

But God says, Ask for more. Ask and keep asking. When do we have too much? Apparently, it didn’t occur to God to declare that David had too much.

When do we have too much? When everyone on Planet Earth is saved. In the meantime, ask for more without fear that He will deny your request.