In less than two weeks, I will address the esteemed body of scholars meeting under the umbrella of the Society for Pentecostal Studies. My topic will really concern how pentecostals, and indeed all renewalists, can understand history. I thought what I might do on this blog is give a little preview of what I hope to do.
Posts Tagged ‘spirituality’
It is estimated that 41.6% of the U.S. population has a Facebook Account, with 500 million active users worldwide. Other social networking platforms, including Twitter and My Space, compete for networking share. We live in a world that wants to connect. Hands down…social networking is here to stay! Read the rest of this entry »
The most rewarding part of traveling for me is the time to return home. No matter how visually stimulating the sights or how interesting the people I meet, usually around day seven something clicks, like an internal homing device, and I begin to yearn for the wonderfully familiar sights, sounds, and structures of home. While others may crave the excitement of the novel, I crave the ordinary. To hear the loud sounds of my children, whether they be the joys of laughter, the tears of pain, or the bursts of anger–these to me are full of life. More than that, they are the very ingredients of life, providing its texture and flavor. Read the rest of this entry »
“What is this that makes me feel so good right now? What is this that makes folks say I am acting strange? Whatever it is, it won’t let me hold my peace.” -Unknown Songwriter from the African American tradition-
A further question– “What does this mean?”– is the question that observers pose at the first Pentecost account of the earliest church (Acts 2:12). I suggest that we continue to ask this question today! Read the rest of this entry »
Over the past few weeks, I’ve focused on spirituality and leadership by looking at David’s relationship with God. Last week’s blog zeroed in on David’s automatic default in times of leadership crises, which was to throw himself on the hesed (love, loving kindness, mercy) of God.
David’s spiritual rhythms of seeking God, worship, and prayer were released through his poetry and song writing. How could someone with that amount of leadership stress and crises find time to write poetry? Read 1 Samuel 19-22 for a snapshot of a few days in the life of God’s anointed on-the-run. Then read 2 Samuel 8 for an overview of some of David’s military exploits after Saul’s death. It’s difficult to imagine how someone so action-oriented could also be so reflective, as evidenced by the 150 Psalms in Scripture that are testimonials of David’s spiritual life in God.
But what about contemporary Christian leaders? How do we navigate the rigors of leadership, all the while growing in our spiritual communion with God? Read the rest of this entry »
Like you, I’ve had many times when I’ve needed to hear the clear voice of the Lord. Decisions like whom to marry; what job to take; or how to navigate a relational challenge, crisis, or life transition confront us all. Students may especially seek God’s guidance as they near graduation.
God has not provided a cookie-cutter formula for hearing His voice. The starting place is positioning our hearts in order to earnestly seek him (Heb. 11:6) and pray (Eph. 6:18, Phil. 4:6). These five simple biblical principles may be helpful.
First, God speaks through the Scriptures. John wrote, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17). Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples” (John 8:31). When making an important decision, we must seek the Lord through His Word, believing that He will guide us. The Christian music group, Mercy Me, expressed it well in their song “Word of God Speak” (click to listen).
Second, God speaks through circumstances. After graduating from a program several years ago, I sought God related to a job. I sensed the Lord saying, “Try every door.” So I applied for many teaching positions, believing that God would close all doors but one. That is exactly what happened. David’s unexpected circumstance of the Amalekites capturing their women and children drove him to God to know if he would be successful (1 Sam. 30:3-8).
Third, God speaks through the voice and/or the inner witness of the Holy Spirit. When the Apostle Paul wanted to go into Bithynia, the Spirit of God prohibited him from entering but instead directed him in a dream to go to Macedonia (Acts 16:7-9). The Holy Spirit also provides peace in the believer’s heart, something the devil cannot duplicate. Paul wrote to the Colossians, “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace” (Col. 3:15). That Greek word for peace literally means to function like an umpire. Peace is like an umpire that settles our souls and affirms direction.
Fourth, God speaks through the input of trusted others. God uses human vessels to speak to us. With wisdom, Jethro spoke to Moses about delegating his work to others (Exod. 18:17-23). At the Council at Jerusalem, James wisely recommended minimal stipulations be applied to Gentile believers (Acts 15:19-20). Having godly counsel is important in seeing a decision circumspectly. I’ll never forget the time my father spoke into an important decision I had to make. He provided the wisdom I need to move forward.
Fifth, God speaks through confirmation of any and all of the above. God desires to bring confirmation to encourage us in moving forward. Moses desperately needed an assurance of God’s presence before moving forward. God responded by directing him to the cleft of the rock and causing His glory to pass by (Exod. 33:12-23). Moses received a double confirmation of God’s guidance. In making important decisions, we often need multiple confirmations.