The Christian life is supernatural. The Spirit of God lives inside every believer and yet elements of the supernatural makes us nervous. It’s easier to shy away from God’s power in everyday life than to embrace the possibility of it. The Spirit of God is orderly, but he pushes the us to the boundaries of our comfort.
Elijah was a great prophet of God but that doesn’t mean his access to God is different from yours. Elijah encountered the supernatural Spirit of God because he regularly invited the Spirit to move is noticeable and powerful ways. When Elijah was challenged by the false prophets and the Spirit of God fell on the altar, notice that the fire of God fell on a sacrifice that was prepared. It didn’t randomly fall in the middle of no where. The fire of God fell because of preparation and a prayer.
Listen as Cortney shares lessons we can learn from Elijah. Expect God to show up in powerful ways. Don’t fake the Spirit of God. Don’t hide from the Spirit of God. Expect the Spirit of God and let him show up when and how he wants.
God wants pursuit. He is pursuing you and he wants you to pursue him. Did you know God pursues you? How well or often do you pursue God?
We sometimes approach God like a bid on an item. Some online bids require a reserve. You put in a lot of money, but if the reserve isn’t met the seller won’t sell the item. We can be like the seller in that we reserve a part of ourselves instead of giving it all to God. You will never fully know who Jesus is unless you are willing to follow him with all of you. God says “Pursue me with all of your heart.”
Don’t “try God out” and then plan an exit. Rather, embrace him with everything.
Easter isn’t about hidden eggs and chocolate bunnies. The Easter holiday is a time to remember the great love of God. Jesus died and rose again so that you may live in relationship with God. Easter is a time to remember that “Christ died for us while we were still sinners…He didn’t wait until we were polished up and combed our hair and put on our nicest shirt. That’s not when he chose to love us. He found you not presentable and decided to love you anyway.”
On Easter morning, Cortney reminded us that the fact of the matter is that our God became a man, died on a cross and rose again because he loves us.
For the past many years, LJCF men have attended the Mighty Men Advance weekend conference. Each year, hundreds of men from around the western United States gather in South Dakota to celebrate Jesus. The conference features half-a-dozen speakers who encourage men to be mighty men and advance the kingdom of God. The event is called an “advance” not a “retreat” because mighty men of God have the purpose to advance the kingdom of God in a dark and broken world.
On Sunday, April 11, 2017, the men came back from the conference and talked about what they learned and how they were encouraged.
Preached by Evan Stewart and Cortney Kluver (00:37)
In uncertain times, do you sometimes feel like you’re on the fight? Fighting for your job, your family, your community, or country? It’s tiring, frustrating, and disheartening. You want to do something, but you don’t know what you can do to solve any of these problems. God says to praise Him to overcome fear and worry, but what good is it for anyone of us to hear that praise is the weapon of our fight?
King Jehoshaphat learned the purpose of praise when Jerusalem was surrounded by a vast army. Outnumbered, outflanked, and out of time, he turned to God and praised God before he took action. God told the army to get battle ready and head to the front line, but to wait and watch for Him to move first. They marched to the battle field, praising God as they went, and when they arrived the battle was already over and won. Through praise, the King and his people were reminded that God is on the throne and he is for them not against them.
Praise puts God back on the throne in our hearts and minds. The outcome of any problem may not be the one we envisioned, but through praise we set our minds back on the real prize; God. Through praise the peace of God fills us. Do you want peace in troubled times? Then turn up the praise.
Elijah, the mighty prophet of God, experienced a great triumph over the enemies of God. When word of the victory reached the evil queen Jezebel, she immediately threatened to kill Elijah. The surprise in the story is Elijah’s response. Instead of standing in confidence in the faith of God, the faithfulness God just displayed in a awe inspiring way, Elijah gives up and turns to fear. He fears the threats of the dangerous queen and runs away. Even when God appears to Elijah and promises faithful protection, Elijah determines to be depressed. It took some forty days and more miraculous manifestations of God before Elijah determined to be faithful.
Real stuff happens in our lives that encourage depression. There is a time to grieve and a time to mourn, but the way out is the time to rejoice. Feeling happy is not the cure to depression. Self will and determination is not the cure. As Elijah learned, depression is real, God cares for us and gives us patience during our depression, and the way out is trusting God’s faithfulness. Cry out to God in your pity and tell him how you feel and why you feel it, but listen to his “still small voice” and enter into his joy. Depression is big, but not bigger than Jesus. Depression is mighty, but not mightier than Jesus. Praise is the weapon of our battle. Praise God as the King to be praised.