A wise friend listened to me recently as I poured out my heart about a situation that seemed - despite all the promises of God - to remain stubbornly and decisively unchanged.
You know the kind of situation I’m talking about: no amount of praying, prophesying, persisting or proclaiming makes even a dent; in fact, it sometimes makes things worse!
I was fed up, confused, worn out and honestly annoyed at what seemed to be a brick wall I would never surmount.
Sure, God had given me some terrific and specific promises, but it had been years - decades, even - and nothing had changed! What was I to do?
An unusual thing happened the other day. The Senior Pastor of my church called me, out of the blue, to say hello. No agenda. No problems. No church business to discuss. Just a “Hello, how are you” kind of call.
That call was a HUGE blessing in my day!
Most leaders I know are pretty busy people. Heck, I am, too! When I hung up the phone after our call, I sat for a moment wondering: when is the last time a leader called me and didn’t need something? Wanted to just connect, for the sake of the relationship, not the “mission” or the shared purpose, whatever that may be?
Apart from a handful of very dear friends I know in leadership, I couldn’t remember. Leaders who lead with love are a rare and special breed.
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His Counselor?
- Romans 11:33
I am sitting by the sea today, as so many times our Savior must have done. It is chilly and windy during this off-season; more suited to snowboarders than sunbathers. Yet the sea still glistens, its waves crashing to the shore as they have done for countless seasons before.
How vast an expanse is the ocean, mighty enough to unleash powerful destruction, yet faithfully contained within its God-ordained boundaries. The sounds of water, the song of birds, the beauty of creation - all of the sea's peaceful rhythms soothe and comfort me.
As I watch, I remember that the very first city Jesus ministered to after His trial in the wilderness and rejection at home was Capernaum by the Sea of Galilee, a city whose name means “Village of Comfort.”
Here among the fishermen is where Christ would find His first disciples. Here Jesus would walk on water, calm the storm, and feed the multitudes. Here, I am reminded again that faithfulness leads to revival.
You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
There’s a catchy song being sung in our churches today called “Let Revival Come” (“Revive Me”) by Kevin Jones and Joshua Sherman. (You can listen to it here). It is the product of a generation that is seeking revival on a large scale. Not just ministries but entire movements of people are now gathering together to pray (like The Send gathering in Orlando in February this year), asking God to send revival.
This in itself is amazing. In my lifetime, I have not seen such unity and focus all across the Body of Christ, and it inspires me! Unity carries the promise of God’s blessing (Psalm 133). Prayer almost always precedes revival. Yet we must be careful to avoid the flawed theology which believes revival is something only God does. The truth is, we have a part to play.
This morning as I prayed, I heard the Lord saying: "When you realize that I never leave you, it will change your life. Where you see separation, I see unity. Where you feel division, I feel only love. The measure of My love does not depend on the size of your container! I will pour until you overflow... you cannot contain My glory!"
If you spent any time in Sunday School as a child, you know that God is love. You know the Christmas story and the Easter story, and you know that Jesus died for you. But when the harsh realities of life kick in, sometimes these stories can seem like fairy tales.
When you feel disconnected from the Lord, or you feel like God doesn’t love you, what will help restore your trust in His goodness? What do you really need to know about Jesus that will keep you “on track” spiritually?
Here are "5 Essential Things" you to know about Jesus, things that will get you through the tougher times in life. They are not EVERYTHING there is to know about Jesus, they're just some essential things I believe will help you hang on when the going gets tough.
One of the fun parts of this ministry is that I get to meet all kinds of amazing people who love the Lord! One of my favorite people is Teresa DeMatos, who co-pastors the church I attend with her husband, Lee DeMatos. Together, they have experienced some powerful encounters with Jesus and - even more exciting - some very personal answers to prayer.
This week, I hear the Lord speaking to us of His enduring love. In the midst of a season that seems to derive its energy from excitement, anticipation, and creating special experiences for loved ones, I feel the Lord is reminding us of a love that is constant and enduring, one that doesn't depend on emotional "highs" to validate itself. The love of God is true and sure, constant and unchanging. Listen in to what He shared with me, and let the peace of God settle in your spirit, filling you with a hope that is far more exciting than what lies under your tree!
Our fathers trusted in You; they trusted, and You delivered them. They cried to You, and were delivered; they trusted in You, and were not ashamed.
There I was: eyes closed, hands raised, completely absorbed in the worship and the amazing spiritual atmosphere of the church. A powerful move of God had hit this place, and I was determined to press in and get my healing. Full of faith, I prayed in the Spirit. Others also prayed for me. The Presence of God was so strong in that meeting. It was unlike anything I had ever seen. And then...
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.