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Wednesday, February 12, 2014 between 1pm – 3pm
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So….. what do you do when you have nothing left to give? When you’re exhausted and on the verge of being resentful? How do you keep giving when it seems you have nothing left to give? It’s simple. You ask God to, “Touch Me Again“.
I was talking to a young friend of mine on last night. We were discussing how God sometimes has to fight us to work for us. If God was not omnipotent, I would imagine that the most difficult part of His work would be getting us out of the way for Him to work on our behalf. In this particular instance, this friend of mine was considering making a bad choice (or a series of them) out of desperation and a loss of hope. He wasn’t considering turning his back on God. He wasn’t considering leaving the flock or doing anything we would consider drastic. He wasn’t angry. He wasn’t in rebellion. He wasn’t trying to tell God off or anything like that. He was just tired. He was tired of fighting. He was tired of hoping for a change that it seemed would never come. He was exhausted. He didn’t want to give up. He wanted to be strengthened. He needed a minute. Wow! He needed a minute. If only he could have taken a minute…
Many boxers will tell you that their most important time frames during a fight are not the ones that everyone pays to see. For the spectators, we love the 36 minutes of action that take place during the fight. We like to watch whether or not a fighter can take a punch. We like to see if they have a glass jaw. We’re interested in seeing if they can close. Oftentimes, great fighters are known as much for how they bounce back as they are for how talented they are offensively. We don’t even grant “elite” status to a boxer who effortlessly runs through opponents. He can’t even gain our respect unless it appears that he was over-matched and then somehow miraculously reigned victorious. For many fighters, it’s not the 3 minute round that allows them time to create, alter, or abandon game plans; it’s the one minute between the rounds where instruction is given. There is no time to mend wounds in the heat of the battle. In the heat of war, you must continue to be alert, both offensively and defensively. Taking a break could cost you your battle, and sometimes, depending on the strength and tenacity of your opponent, your life. If only you can make it until the bell sounds. There’ll be rest then. Your corner will mend your wounds. The eye that continues to throb and swell will be tended to. The corner man will tend to the wounds. The blood flow from the cuts will be stopped. If only he can make it to the bell sounds..
This may seem like two different stories. You see, my friend and the boxer are in the same situation. The boxer is in the last 30 seconds of a round. My friend was as well. Both of them had to hold on until the bell sounded. After each beating and desire to give up, they both needed to get to the corner to tell the Skilled One “Touch Me Again”. The boxer never wants to give up. His will to win carries more weight than the burden of his pain. My young friend knew that “weeping may endure for a night….”
We know how this story ends. The instructions carry both of these individuals to victory. Â But the main point in these stories is not the end. It is the interim. We should use these situations as a model for us. Let’s be determined to take each battle one round at a time. Don’t give up hope. Just be reminded that God will never put more on us than we can bear. Rest assured that when things get heavy and seem to be overbearing, just hold on and wait for the end of the round. Then you can go back to your corner and ask your Master to “Touch Me Again”
Do you ever feel like it’s fruitless to pray? Does it seem like your pleas and cries fall on deaf ears? Or sometimes no ears at all?
I can relate…..
I’ve heard that God always hears my prayers and that He’s always there, but it doesn’t always feel like it. Sometimes I feel like no one can hear me, or that maybe God has better things to do and “better people” to attend to. Am I alone in believing that? I’m pretty sure I’m not. I’ve heard it taught that men are more logical and that women are more emotional. I find a certain degree of truth in that. However, after evaluating my actions, I’ve learned that I often depend more on what I’m feeling (emotion) than on the PROMISES (logic) when it comes to God. Sometimes fear and doubt will cause emotion to emerge victorious over logic. In this situation, being logical would make more sound sense. The logic is: If God has NEVER failed me, NEVER fallen short, NEVER failed to show up for me, and NEVER failed to redeem me, why would I prepare for otherwise? Why constantly prepare for a phenomenon that has never happened? God is faithful! Even though the answer is not always what I want it to be, my prayer for God to hear me never goes unanswered.
No matter what it may seem, God will always Hear Me!
Do you ever stop and just think about the vastness of God and who He is? As we have begun to prepare for the New Year and all the things that it will bring, I began to ponder over this past year and the effect it had on my relationship with God. 2013 was one of the strangest years I’ve had in my life. Financially, it is probably the worst year I’ve ever had. There have been times in my life when I’ve struggled, but there would always be help in sight. It was not the case this past year. There were times when I needed to borrow money, and the only certain thing I could tell the lender was that I was 100% sure that I had NO IDEA when I would be able to repay. Now who wants to deal with a borrower like that? On this past Sunday evening, it was my charge to lead the sermonic selection in our night service.
The song was Fred Hammond’s “You Are The Living Word”.
As I began to minister, the Lord brought to my mind what He’d done for me throughout the year. While I have the tendency to focus on my lack and my hard times, God reminded me that He’d kept me through it all. There is a part of the chorus that says, “You Are The Living Word”. Every time I would get to that part, I could hear the Lord saying, “But I brought you through. But I kept you.” It was overwhelming! Because God is unchanging, I expect the same thing in 2014 that I received in 2013. I expect Him to bring me through. I don’t know everything that will come this year. I don’t know everything that God has in store for me. I do know that there are some promises He made to me. And I know that this is the year of manifestation for me. I have learned, and am still learning, that God’s purpose and plan are stronger than my actions. I’m also learning that regardless of what I do, God’s love for me will never change. It will never decrease. It will never fail. It will never run out. His love for me is unconditional. But to progress in God and to get the things from Him that I’ve seen, it will cost me something. It will cost me me. The Great Big God of the universe wants me. So this year, that is exactly what I will work to give Him. I’ve learned that I am so weak and frail that I sometimes don’t even have the strength to carry myself to Him. He’s so big and powerful that that doesn’t even phase Him. He’ll come to where I am. He’s willing to meet me and bring me to Himself. All He wants from me is surrender. He wants my “Here I Am”. I’ll never understand why God chose me, but here I am. I will never understand why He’s given me so many chances, but here I am. I don’t understand why He chose someone as insufficient as I know I am, but here I am. Â Whatever you want from me Lord…..
Here I am.
I consider it a privilege and an awesome responsibility to be trusted with the task of being a vessel to minister to God’s people. His grace never ceases to amaze me. I’ve said many times before that I know the “me” that no one else truly knows. The fact that God knows that “me” and still chooses to use me, blows my mind.
I keep messing up. He keeps extending His hand. When I look at what I have to offer and how I would respond to situations, and then I look at the way Christ responds, I’m humbled beyond description. When I would cry Murder, He offers Mercy; when I would want REVENGE, He offers redemption; when I continue to give in to sin, He continues to extend salvation; when I would cause hurt, He looks to heal. The more I know Him, the more I understand my insufficiencies and the more He shows me that those insufficiencies are covered in His abundance.
Even with all this, He – the God of the Universe, the One who spoke the very earth into existence….. chooses to hear me. He hears me. He attends unto my prayers. Who am I?
I want to know Him. I want to be closer to God. I heard someone say before that you are as close to God as you want to be. If that’s the truth, then my desire is to have a stronger desire to be closer to the One who yearns to be close to me.
If someone had told me 17 years ago Id be in ‘this place today, I wouldn’t have believed them! Why? Because I was too low to envision a promising future overflowing with gratitude for God’s grace. I know my testimony is not an isolated one. Some of you reading this post have been, or perhaps are still in that low place, wondering if life is worth living.
This is the place where God has brought me to help you grab hold to hope and look beyond where you are now. Use your creative imagination and envision your life filled with purpose, passion, and peace.
My song, “This Thing Called Grace” expresses my innermost thoughts and feelings to the One who extended His grace to me after I’d made a mess of things. I realized that the grace of God is all I needed to get me to a place of complete confidence in God to be Lord of the very life He gave me, the life that I thought I wanted to end. Now, I am still learning how to receive this thing called grace as I walk out the promises and purpose God has predestined for my life.
The encouraging news is this: If He did it for me, He will do it for you too.
The question is: Do you want God’s grace offer?
IBPianoman Productions is on the way to full fruition. The website has started to take form, and you can even purchase items, such as HeartCries, from the Online store. Browse around, and see what we have to offer you. Don’t be afraid to comment, and I hope you enjoy!