The Way To Change Things

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The Way to Change Things … a Mother’s Day Message by Bev Herring

There are really three ways to run a church.

First, the Pastor can do it all.

Second, the church can pay for everything to be done.

Third, develop people to handle all the details.

The problem with the Pastor doing it that the church must rely on the capabilities and strength of one person or couple.  So the church ends up, at the best, limited, and at worst the couple gets totally burned out. can also use money.  It just takes a lot of it to finance a church budget...even a small church. 

So that leaves the third alternative...developing people.  Isn't that what God had in mind in the first place?

But God didn't begin with the church He began with the family.

When two young people get married and begin having children they too become involved in the development of people although I’m certain that is not the way they look at it when they have their first child. 

We may be thrilled, terrified and feel a bit unprepared all at the same time when we realize a baby is on the way. 

Probably the one thing we as parents have most had in matter what our preconceived ideas looked like, we want everything to be PERFECT for this new baby ... we were going to be different.  We weren’t going to make the mistakes others did.  We’d do it right!

The very bad news is ... you can only do so much for your children.
BUT the very good news is ....God already knows that.

We know a pastor who had seven children...we are good friends with one of them who has a very successful worldwide ministry.

Over his lifetime, he planted a number of churches and did a lot to further the kingdom...but when his children were growing up, he had the typical problems we all face when raising kids. 

And he spent a lot of time in prayer.  So on one occasion ... he was pouring his heart out to God…

"God...I'm having such a problem with these children ...they won’t listen...they do what they please and I’m trying every way I can to get Bible truth into them ... but it doesn’t seem to stick.

“To which he said the Lord replied, “I know exactly how you feel.  I have the same trouble with mine!”

I like the saying:

It will be okay in the end and if it’s not okay … then it’s not the end.

I also like the saying:

When things go south….you don’t have to go south with them.

Our perspective has a lot to do with how we fair in this life. 

Above all… we have to get our eyes off the rear view mirror.  No matter how much we want to change a decision we made in the past…

Every thought…

Every minute spent thinking about it… or talking about it…

Is wasted time … it’s over and we need to get over it and move on.

God is not “the Great I was” – His presence isn’t going backwards with you.

God is not “the Great I will be” His presence isn’t available for something that hasn’t happened yet…

God is THE GREAT I AM… we only have this moment to live.  He is HOWEVER right here, right now… ready to help.

Proverbs 22:6 in the King James Version says: “Train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old he shall not depart from it.”

The Amplified Bible does exactly as its name indicates; it amplifies the Hebrew words and adds this to it:

“Trainupachildin the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent],and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

  1. How do we find out the individual gift or bent in our children?
  2. And when we do find it, how do we develop it?

Have you noticed how excited we are as parents to have our children begin to talk?

We encourage them in every way … then when they do … we can’t get them to quit!

Then along comes the next child and you can’t get them to say two words to anyone.

This is ONE WAY they show us their natural bent and gifting.

Albert Einstein has an insightful quote: 

“Everybody is a genius.  But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.”

Have you ever caught a fish and tossed it in the bottom of the boat.  It flaps around and causes quite a stir.  But if that same fish is thrown back into the water, it takes off like a flash of light … because it’s back in the element it was made to thrive in.

But how do we find that element in our children and when we do find it, how do we develop it?

According to Romans 12:6 (TLB), “God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well.”

Proverbs 19:21 (AMP) says: “Many plans are in a man’s mind, but it is the Lord’s purpose for him that will stand.”  

That purpose for him (or her) would be their individual gift or bent Proverbs 22:6 talks about.

We need talkers … they do certain things well. 

We also need people who don’t need a whole lot of conversation so they can do what they do well.

Developing children is more than psychology.

It’s more than theology.

It’s most effective when we use knee-ology.  That means falling to our knees

and asking God for help

That’s exactly what God had in mind in the first place.

God is in the people developing business.

If God can get you to come to Him for help… how will He ever be able to develop you as a person?

We so often look at problems all wrong… problems are not problems at all…

They are opportunities to overcome.

They are ways in which God is looking to show up and show off…

They are the ways we gain wisdom.

They are the tests that lead to a great testimony…

The best way to raise children is not by teaching them but by modeling the lifestyle that Jesus gave us in the Bible.

In I Corinthians 11:1, the Apostle Paul was still writing the Bible as we know it which is probably why he said, “Imitate me as I also imitate Christ.”

That means…more time on our knees in prayer asking God what to do.

That means trusting God who absolutely knows what to do even when we don’t have the answer yet.

God is much more interested in how you’re growing by going through the problem… then He is in solving the problem for you.

It’s annoying to us humans … but we’d better get used to the way He works.

He wants us communicating with Him… in the process of changing things… He changes us.

Prayer is an inheritance we receive and a legacy we leave.

Children are never too old to need our prayers.

You being in church … is an answer to someone’s prayer

Your success as a Christian and a person … is the result of someone’s prayers.

Everything around us is an answer to someone’s prayer. 

The success of this great country we live in … was an answer to prayer.

We are all a product of someone taking the time and making the effort to pray.

If you’ve ever read the accounts of the American Revolution or the rise of George Washington… you’ll begin to realize that we are here today because of some amazing prayers.

When the Revolution was basically over and representatives from all 13 colonies were assembled, there was such chaos several representatives went home after several months and no decisions.

The large colonies argued that they needed more representation.

The small colonies argued that they would lack proper representation to stand against the power of larges colonies.

In June 1789 Benjamin Franklin addresses the Continental Congress by encouraging the men to make their assembly a matter of prayer.  In part of his speech, he so eloquently states: If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without God’s notice, can a nation so rise without His aid?

From that time forward, the men adopted and dedicated a time of prayer before each session.  Prayer in those days was not like saying grace at the table. It consisted of a fiery sermon that stirred men’s hearts to do the right thing.

From that time the delegates began to draw up what we know as the Constitution of the United States…

The larger colonies got their wish of having a governing group based on population … the House of Representatives where our states are represented by population.  The smaller colonies got their wish of a governing body in which everyone is equal… the Senate where each state has two representatives from each state. 

What seemed impossible … became possible.

THE BIRTH OF OUR COUNTRY WAS A MIRACLE but the true miracle is not that God

… the creator of the universe,

… the maker of all mankind,

… the one who is omniscient & omnipresent

can do marvelously big things… BUT that He cares about the smallest things in life.

A sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice…

He has numbered the hairs on your head!

Do you know the numbers of hairs on your children’s heads?

God knows yours…

We may not see answers to our prayers immediately… but He is listening

Prayers are powerful and long lasting.

Prayers live on long after they are prayed. 

Prayer is the only real power we have to change things that are seemingly unchangeable.

If you don’t think your prayers are getting heard or answered … let me ask you a question… who would try to talk you out of praying?

The Father?

The Son?

The Holy Spirit…?

The only one who wants you to think your prayers are ineffective is the one who will suffer if you are praying them.

Let’s talk about the power of prayer and how the deck is stacked in our favor as Christians.

First, God is the righteous judge. There are four times God is called the righteous judge in scripture.  One is in Psalm 50:1; another is 2 Tim 4:8.

Not only that but God, our judge, wrote the book He’s judging out of … you undoubtedly have a copy of it.

Then He sent Jesus to be our defense attorney… our advocate.

Romans 8:34 says Jesus is even at the right hand of God, making intercession for us.

And satan is the prosecuting attorney or the accuser of the brethren as he’s described in Revelation 12:10 who accused them before our God day and night.

The only thing left is the one giving the testimony before the court of heaven…

That’s YOU

The next verse says  And they [us] overcame him [satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…

First Jesus washed us in His blood to free us of sin … as a free gift.

We only need the word of our testimony… to be God’s Word before the Judge of Heaven.

Are we praying God’s Word?

Or are we pitifully looking at our circumstances?

I promise You … God is not wringing His hands in heaven wondering what’s happening to you. 

He’s waiting for you to do what you’re supposed to do… come to Him so He can show up and show off on your behalf…

Are we praising God because we agree with the Word… or are we swayed by our circumstances?  

Out of the abundance of our heart… our mouth will speak.

We will either agree with our accuser or we will agree with God’s Word.

Isaiah 55:11 says:

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

What do our children hear coming out of our mouths… words of faith or words of fatalism?

The only way to stay in faith is by staying in the Word. 

The AMP version of Proverbs 22:17-20 tells us exactly what happens when we stay in God’s Word:

17 Listen (consent and submit) to the words of the wise, and apply your mind to my knowledge;

18 For it will be pleasant if you keep them in your mind [believing them]; your lips will be accustomed to [confessing] them.

19 So that your trust (belief, reliance, support, and confidence) may be in the Lord, I have made known these things to you today, even to you.

20 Have I not written to you [long ago] excellent things in counsels and knowledge.

When we are in God’s Word, His Words will be the first thing out of our mouths as we go through our day.

But that isn’t all the ammunition God gives us.  Matthew 28:18 says:

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”

If Jesus was given ALL POWER in heaven AND in earth… then the devil has none.  The only authority he has is what we give him … by the words of our mouth … by the words of our testimony.

But not only that … we were given the words of Jesus in Luke 10:19:

“Behold, I give unto you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

The first word for power in this scripture is the Greek word exousia.  It can be translated as power but it also means the power of authority as well.  The second word for power in the scripture comes from the Greek word dunamis which can also be translated as abilities

So by substituting the meanings of these words, we see more clearly the leverage we have over the enemy.

“Behold, I give unto you authority to tread upon serpents and 332scorpions and over all the abilities of the enemy; and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

It’s good to know that the Lord wants NOTHING … NO THING by ANY MEANS… to hurt us.

In Matthew 6:8 Jesus said The Father knows what you have need of before you even ask… yet right after that He teaches the disciples how to pray.

Praying is communicating with God.

Just like the father of seven… all God wants is for His children to know the Bible so we can understand the Word works … and it will give us a better life.

Let me say that God’s only focus is growing us into what He knows we can be.  He’s the only One who really knows where and how we will function best.

Most Christians want to grow in the Lord … they just don’t want to submit to the process the Lord outlines for us to do so.

James 1:2-4 God’s Word translation

My brothers and sisters, be very happy when you are tested in different ways. You know that such testing of your faith produces endurance. Endure until your testing is over. Then you will be mature and complete, and you won’t need anything.

Anything and everything that puts us on our knees brings us closer to God.

Our children need to know dependence on God is the answer.

As a popular Christian pastor says … Most Christians have bought in they just haven’t sold out.

We have been designed to rely on God daily.

The children of Israel were given manna, their daily bread, on a daily basis. The rules were to gather just enough for that day and only that day.

Exodus 16:4

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for them. Everyone can go out each day and gather as much food as he needs. And I will test them in this, to see whether they will follow my instructions or not.

Deuteronomy 8:16 AMP:

16 Who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end.

The world teaches that we should arrive … having need for nothing.

The Word teaches that if we ever arrive … we no longer need God.

As long as we never lose sight of our need for God … we will be successful.

Philippians 4:13 in the Amplified Bible gives us a keen insight on our sufficiency which is in Christ alone.

I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].

The only way to be truly successful and self-sufficient … is dependence on Christ’s sufficiency.