Friday, December 6, 2013

What Do You Give To A God Who Has Everything?

We all have people that we have a hard time shopping for.

You know the frustration that comes with this and you go to the mall hoping to be inspired right? You walk down the concourse and look in shops and stores that seem to offer everything you can think of and the middle of the concourse is jam packed with small kiosks that also have things promised to please that person on your list. You just want to find the "Perfect gift" right?

What do you give someone who needs or wants absolutely nothing?

What do you get for someone who has absolutely everything?

I have to look at God when I ask this question because for so long I tried so hard to come up with ways to "Present my body a living sacrifice" to Him. If I dressed a certain way or only listened to certain types of music, went to only church functions, only had friends from within my church, or even read the Bible through in year that would be pleasing to God right?

Would He smile at me then?

I was painted a picture of a angry volcano type of God who needed me to constantly check boxes to please Him and keep Him from erupting and He really was more like an unstable parent to me than a loving Father.

I could never do enough because if I prayed for an hour it was if the question was asked, "Why didn't you pray for two?"
Any gift that I brought to Him always seemed to be something that He already had or that someone else could do better and really He was not interested in receiving it anyway.

Then one day, I spied something out shopping that pulled me in right away.


This was the perfect gift for a God who has everything!!!

See, the day of your birth and the day of your death are two days that you have absolutely no choice over. You do however have a choice over what you do with every day in between these two events.
It is options that give choices power.
It is the options that are utilized that make the choice valuable. Think about it, how loved would you really feel if someone had no option but to love you? It is the choice that they made to love you out of all the options that they had that makes the love that they give you so valuable.
So when it comes to getting God that perfect gift, is it really an option to check boxes if you are afraid He is going to break your legs if you don't? No. It is no different than playing by the rules of Don Coleon.

But He is God the Father and not the godfather. He does not demand anything from us that we are not willing or capable to give Him freely.

So we walk through the spiritual mall and check out stores like "Standards R Us", and the "Service Center", we consider the tithing store, and the attendance shop and ultimately we fail to feel like we gave Him the right gift because to truly give a perfect gift, you need to know the person well that you are shopping for. There is nothing wrong with standards, servie, tithing, or any of it, but if we giving those things to keep Him happy with us or to be a better gifter than the other relatives than we are missing the mark.

I had been shopping at the store "Law-Mart" and coming up with terrible gifts for Father. One day I came across the Kiosk of GRACE in the middle of that proverbial shopping mall and it was at that Kiosk of GRACE that I discovered the "Perfect Gift for the God Who Has Everything".

It was Faith.

Does it really take Faith to be in a spot however many times a week? Does it take Faith to serve in a ministry?

Does it take Faith to read your Bible through in a year?

Not that any of those things are wrong, but really ask yourself this question, "What have i done today that required Faith to do?"

Things will begin to shift just a bit in our shopping mindset if we do.

"By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith."  ~Hebrews 11:5-7

Faith is simply put, choosing God over so many other options that seem to make sense.

It is choosing to trust in the fact that the Christ did die for your sins and that His work was finished at the cross and that I have received a new nature to walk in.

God's wrath for me was poured out on Jesus and now because of Him there is therefore no more commendation. The only way that I will face the wrath of God is to die without a relationship with Him through the shed blood of His son.


It is Faith that allows me to operate in newness of life.

It is Faith that provides me the strength to tell temptation "No".

It is Faith that enables me to be today what He made me to be.

If God intends for me to live my life out of and through Faith in Him to be who He says He is, than what is it that He cannot do with you?

You might say, "Well Dan, I have made some pretty lousy choices with my life."

"Sometimes it is the wrong choices that bring us to the right places"

He has you here right now and of all the things that your eyes could have seen today, they are seeing this. Why is He allowing you to read this out of everything that you will read today?

What is it that you would do if you were not afraid that God could not or would not help you to do?
What would your life look like one year from today if you just decided today that you were going to operate in Faith that God is who He says He is and that He is able to accomplish what He speaks into your heart?
Give God the perfect Gift today!
Operate in the Faith that HE is who He says He is and that He can do and will do what it is that He has said He would do!
Shopping for "The God Who Has Everything" and finding the perfect gift is not hard at all if you know the God you are shopping for.
Climbing with you,

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Waiting for Superman

Faster than a speeding bullet he raced onto the scene.

Sometimes it was through a window sometimes it was even through the wall, and when the occasion called for it, it was through the doorway like the rest of us.

He showed up and he did what the rest of us wished we could do in those situations in life where a person who chose to impose their will on everyone else was stopped from doing so.
He stepped in front of the weak and he became their strength and he became their shield from the bullets and debris that would be flying all over the place.

If you could not get out of a burning building on your own, he was there to pick you up and fly you off to safety. If you could not escape an oncoming a bullet, he would deflect what you could not dodge. He stopped speeding trains and plummeting airplanes.

It was his smile to you when the smoke cleared that told you that you did really good on your part under pressure for the strength that you had and that everything was going to be OK. He would speak a word of encouragement, pat you on the shoulder and then fly away just as quickly as he showed up.

He was Superman.

I write quite a bit about Superman because I am in fact a Superman fan. I always have been and unless the story line gets too crazy I always will be.

I see in the character of Superman so much of what I want to be for the people that are allowed to be in my life.
I want to be strong, protective, vigilant, and patient. I want to "save the day" in the train wrecks life throws other people's way. I want to take the bullets for them and see through every act of frustration on their part and respond with a calm patience. I want that...

I am however, not Superman.

I fall short and my jumps in life are just enough to clear the first two steps out in front of the tall building Superman would so effortlessly jump in a single bound..

I think that if I had a dollar for every train I derailed instead of keeping it safe I would be a very rich man indeed, and in spite of my best intentions to protect my Metropolis, I end up in my own logic and reasoning becoming the Lex Luthor who strangles it to a position of becoming a shadow of what I know it's potential can be.

Have you ever rushed into the proverbial "Building on fire" only to discover that your rushing in weakened the structure causing it's premature collapse?
Have you ever found yourself doing more harm than good because you in fact are not the cure all  you thought you were?

Once the train comes rumbling full speed out of control you had better be able to stop it because there are passengers who are hanging on for dear life depending on the fact  the one who boldly stepped onto the tracks ahead really does have what it takes to help.

So what do we do when we realize that we are not the Superman that others need us to be?

David often found himself in this type of scenario. He did a lot of good and he did his share of wrong as well. He loved the Lord, and yet he found himself in this battle of dependence upon the God that he praised for His ability to stop the speeding bullets.

He praised God for His unfailing ability to be the only one to stop an out of control train wreck like Goliath and yet stepped in front of a runaway Mack Truck like Saul.

Right in the middle of this rampage through Metropolis David finds himself chased from his home, crawling through caves, and hunted like a wild animal. The Superman cape is torn and the blue uniform is ripped. The finely chiseled jaw of this superhero is cut and bleeding and worst of all...his very soul has been crushed. Can this really happen to a Superman?

Right in the middle of this struggle for a hero to stay on top of the pedestal that he has been unwillingly placed on we find him curled up in a cave and speaking something that comforts me when I go through cave times myself.

Have you ever went to hang your cape up at the end of the day and been discouraged about the condition that it is in as it goes back in the closet?

You know, the cape you wear as a parent, a spouse, a friend, and employee or employer, a grandparent, or even just as a person?

It looks so tattered now and at one time it was brilliant and red and it was a "Symbol" of something greater for others to ascribe to but now it looks like it is ready for the car wash towel pile. Look at what David has to say;

"Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah."           ~Psalms 3:1-2

Please notice that David is taking an honest look at the circumstances around him and these are the result of him trying to stop a train by himself.

Notice the word "SOUL". This word is one to describe our Mind, Will, and our Emotions. The popular consensus of the day was "Ain't nobody got time for that. No one, not even God can help this man."

Have you ever felt this way? Beyond hope.

What happened Superman?

Then look at the response because this is for us!!!

"But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me." ~ Psalms 3:3-5

David acknowledged within his spirit that he was not Superman. It is OK to understand that you are not the master of the universe.

David said, "Father, you are my bullet deflector, you stop every bullet that flies through the air and you are my strength. You literally hold my head up. Without you I am a spineless mess. You hear me with super hearing and you see me with x-ray vision, and I can find complete rest under the shadow of your cape."


I love the word "Sustained", because it means God alone keeps it going. When I step onto the tracks in front of a runaway train, it is me who is going to get creamed and not the train.

When I intervene in the life of another in my own wisdom and strength I will do more harm than good. I need to be clothed in Christ. It is not me that they need, it is Him.

I am not Superman and neither are you.

To expect anyone to complete the work of Christ in another person's life will only lead to disappointment and regret. It is in the realization of this which causes us to recognize and establish God in our hearts as the only one who can stop the bullets in our life and in the life of another.

"Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."   ~  2 Corinthians 12:10

I know you like the way that the cape hangs off your shoulders because I do as well, but today can I challenge you to surrender the self imposed responsibility to save the city to the One who truly is THE Superman!

Take the cries of the citizens of Metropolis to Him and allow Him to be in their life who He claims to be. When you are in a position where God opens the door to help with the runaway trains, then understand where your true strength comes from.

Wait on Superman!

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."    ~ Isaiah 43:31

"Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah."
                                                                                                                         ~Psalms 3:8

Climbing with you,