Unshakable Hope & Unshakable Faith
"Spirit break out, Break our walls down; Spirit break out, Heaven come down"
Nothing and no one except for God Almighty can save my dad's flesh and his soul. This I know to be true because nothing and no one except for God Almighty could save my flesh and my soul! My peace rests in the fact that God knows his heart and the true essence of who and what he believes. My father's life has not been a life that I would call "glorifying to God." Just like I did for 25 years, he has served the world and the adversary for probably as long as I have been alive. I know my dad comes from a childhood that was far from godly - so the odds have been stacked against him since he was forming in his mother's womb. I would have to say that the only thing he had for him is that God knew him before he was even formed. It's not my place to air what I do know & I don't know enough to even share the story of his childhood correctly, but I know that many things happened to him and around him that were no fault of his own. What I do know is that he went to church and was involved with my mom with the Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa church; I have a kind of hope that he did ask Jesus to be his Lord and personal Savior at that time, a hope I choose to believe and I rest in that belief.
I have been at a loss as to how to pray for my dad, besides the obvious things at hand - his physical and spiritual health. I came to this sort of awakening as I prayed for him late this morning:
"Dear God of Angel Armies,
Please VISIT my father as he sleeps today. Walk him through his entire life and show him the errors of his ways. Please God, show him what he could have in the remainder of his life if he would turn from his old ways and turn to You. Lord God, water the seeds that have been planted in his life as he sleeps. If you choose to heal him and wake him, please transform him so that he will no longer be conformed to this world. But Lord, if he will not turn from his old ways and turn to You in every single facet of his life, then hand his flesh over to Satan and take his soul home to Your kingdom in Heaven. Amen."
Yes! A very dangerous prayer. However, these are the moments that specific and bold prayers like this come to me, and I am obedient to the Lord and faithful in my walk with Him, even if it means losing my dad. It's passionate and fiery prayers like this where I have seen God work in the mightiest and most miraculous ways I could experience in my flesh! My only defense and my best offense is prayer on any given day and with any given circumstance or situation.
One thing I have shared in my previous blogs is that I surrender my life to Jesus and ask Him to have His way with me, whatever that looks like. I have developed some strong godly relationships with an army of believers all over the world. I started taking free college classes in ministry through Christian Leaders Institute and the people I have connected with are from all over the world. So right now as I type this 7 continents are interceding for my dad - for his health and for his soul. They are praying for his wife as well. The platform of believers is mind-blowing and more than any Facebook, Twitter or other social media site I was ever a part of. Not only are the believers who are in my life right now, my family and my spiritual family with Set Free Ministry praying, but my new brothers and sisters in Christ from CLI are praying as well. All I consider warriors and soldiers of the Lord. I stand in agreement with each and every one of them as they faithfully keep my dad and his wife in prayer.
So where am I going with all this, you might be asking yourself? Well 2 words come to my mind - hope and faith; specifically hope in this certain situation. According to an online dictionary, hope is defined as "a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen." I like that but let's take it one step further and look at the biblical definition of hope - "Hope is the CONFIDENT expectation of what GOD has PROMISED and it's strength is in His FAITHFULNESS." Biblical hope not only desires something good for the future, it EXPECTS it to happen. I love the way the psalmists wrestle and fight and struggle to maintain their hope in God. This is a normal Christian experience, as we are all still just saved sinners. It's time we all own up to it, or else we may grow stagnant and sluggish and negligent in our fight for hope. Perseverance in godliness is the proof of the genuineness of our salvation. Hebrews 6:9-12 says, "Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case - the things that have to do with salvation. God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised." (NIV). With all the zeal that has enabled me to work and love in the name of Jesus, with all that zeal, I have to keep on pursuing the full assurance of hope to any end. There is NO FIGHT, NO QUEST, NO CHALLENGE and NO WAR more urgent than this - to keep my hope HOT; keep my hope CONFIDENT in all things so that I can be like the men and women of faith that precede me, all the way back to the Bible!
Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." (NIV). Wherever there is full assurance of hope in my life, I know there is faith. Faith can look back (all the way back to Creation), as well as look forward (all the way to the kingdom of Heaven). Faith is my confidence in the Word of God, and whenever that Word has reference to the future, I can call my confidence in it hope! Hope is faith in the future tense! Hope is my strong confidence and not just wishful thinking. I have been saved by grace through faith and hope. That faith began with my predecessors and that hope lives on in me.
Romans 15:13 refers to our God as a "God of Hope." There is a moral certainty in my future as I rest in the full assurance of hope and believe that faith is the full assurance of that hope. As I trust and put my hope in God, I know I will be helped and I will not be confounded, put to shame or disappointed. This trustful hope in God gives me a general confidence in God's protection and help and I am free from fear and anxiety and worry. Christian hope is rooted in faith in the divine salvation in Christ and through the presence of the Holy Spirit. My hope and faith are what solidify my blessed, favored and loved future - the belief that I will one day see Jesus, not only exalted in life, but also in death. Those who don't place their trust in God are without hope (Ephesians 2:12 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13).
Along with faith and love, hope is an enduring virtue of this Christian life, and love springs from hope. Hope produces joy and peace in the lives of all believers through the power of the Holy Spirit. Hope is eternal glory. I know a few things for certain - I can't control the weather, I am not in charge of the economy, I can't undo a tsunami, I can't undo the wreckage from my past destruction, and I can not heal my dad's physical body or spiritual maladies. What I can do is hold on to the truth that God is in this crisis and He will continue to be in every crisis that occurs. I won't let any crisis paralyze me. I won't let sadness overwhelm me. I won't let fear intimidate me. Max Lucado said, "To do nothing is the wrong thing. To do something is the right thing. And to believe is the highest thing."
In closing I cling to 2 passages:
"Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother's womb He has spoken my name. He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of His Hand, He hid me; He made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in His quiver." Isaiah 49:1-2 (NIV).
"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. All who have this hope in Him purify themselves, just as His is pure." 1 John 3:1-3(NIV)
Father God in Heaven, God of Angel Armies, Jesus, bind our hearts to Yours. Call our hearts back to You Jesus. We belong to You Jesus. We have always belonged to You Jesus. You knew us before we were ever formed in our mother's wombs. Have Your way with us Lord Jesus, King above all kings, please have Your way with us all!