Saturday, November 1, 2014

A BUNCH OF BISCUITS by Carter Conlon

As God calls us to walk in the supernatural—in the things that we consider ourselves unqualified for—it is likely that fears may arise in our heart. This was the case with Gideon and so the Lord instructed him: “And it came to pass the same night, that the Lord said unto him, Arise, get thee down [to the camp of the enemy]; for I have delivered it into thine hand. But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant . . . And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengthened to do down unto the host” (Judges 7:9-11).

In other words, “If you are afraid, go down to the enemy’s camp. You are going to hear what they are saying, and it will give you strength to go into what, in the natural, is a suicide mission.”

“Then went he down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that were in the host. . . . And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along. And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon . . . for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host” (Judges 7:11-14).

You would expect the Lord to come up with something a bit more extraordinary, perhaps with the Midianite saying, “I saw chariots of angels coming down, thousands and thousands! They were angry, and they killed us all! Let’s get out of here!” No, instead, he saw a loaf of bread roll down a hill, and it just flattened their whole camp. And from that the other man immediately concluded, “Well, this is none other than the sword of God and the sword of Gideon! He has given the whole host into the hand of Gideon!”

How did the enemy know it? They knew because they had been on the receiving end time and time again. They knew what happened when suddenly even just a few of God’s people got up and decided to go forward. They knew what danger was posed to the kingdom of darkness when a barley loaf came rolling down the hill!

Do you know what a barley loaf is? It is nothing more than a bunch of biscuits that get together and decide to move as one! You and I are living in an hour when we must surrender our pride and our human reasoning; we must surrender wanting to be seen as someone greater than we are. We are all biscuits invited to a banquet—every last one of us. I have always been nothing, I am still nothing, and I will always be nothing. All I have is what God chooses to give me.

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Carter Conlon joined the pastoral staff of Times Square Church in 1994 at the invitation of the founding pastor, David Wilkerson, and was appointed Senior Pastor in 2001. A strong, compassionate leader, he is a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World Challenge throughout the world.

Friday, October 31, 2014

LET HIM BE EVERYTHING TO YOU

Years ago I stood at an altar beside my wife and heard my father (who was the minister) ask Gwen, “Will you accept David to be your lawful husband?” We exchanged vows, each saying, “I will.” Gwen has loved me in a thousand ways, but never better, never more, than when she let me be the man of the house. It took a while for her to step aside and let me do the “husband” things—especially since I’m really not very mechanical. But she learned to tactfully encourage me to fulfill this role.

God intended for a husband and wife to reflect His relationship with us, His bride: “For thy Maker is thine husband” (Isaiah 54:5). We are “a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:2). But Jesus is not like any earthly husband. When He says, “I will,” He has all power and glory to see it done. You can find our Lord’s vows to His beloved all through His Word.

Our love for Him appropriates it, rests on it, and lets Jesus be God to us. Here are some of the vows He has made to all who have pledged their love and faithfulness to Him:

“I will bear; even I will carry . . . you” (Isaiah 46:4). “Can a woman forget her child? . . . Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee” (Isaiah 49:15). “He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7). “I . . . will heal him . . . and restore comforts unto him” (Isaiah 57:18). “Before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24). “For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).

Jesus is our righteousness, our health, our deliverance, our rock of salvation, our daily bread, our comfort, our provider, our strong arm, our defense, our light, our joy, our peace—our everything in time of need! Let Him be God to you. Don’t fret and try to work things out yourself. Prove to Him that you will trust His power!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

“SHE DID THIS FOR ME”

“And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. . . . And [Jesus] turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment” (Luke 7:37-38, 44-46).

Have you ever washed His feet with your tears? Have you come to Him asking nothing for yourself or your ministry or your family? Have you come simply pouring out on Him a gift of incense, an alabaster box of love and worship? Listen to His heart cry: “Thou gavest Me no kiss. No water for My tired feet! But she did this for Me!”

In Matthew 26, another woman came to Jesus and poured perfume on His head as He sat eating. The disciples saw it and said with indignation, “To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor” (Matthew 26: 8-9). We are just like those disciples; we think it’s wasted time to be alone, ministering to His needs when so many poor, suffering people need our time and prayer petitions. Jesus said, “Why trouble ye the woman? For she hath wrought a good work upon me. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always” (Matthew 26:10-11). In essence He was saying, “She did this for me!”